Epsom Light Opera Company

award winning theatre at the Epsom Playhouse

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2018 Calamity Jane

Adapted by RONALD HANMER and PHIL PARK
From the stage play by CHARLES K. FREEMAN
after WARNWE BROS. film written by JAMES O'HANLON
Lyrics by PAUL FRANCIS WEBSTER
Music by SAMMY FAIN

Whip crack away with this timeless classic, Let multi award winning Epsom Light Opera Company take you back to the black hills of Dakota for the ultimate tale of female empowerment and friendship set against the backdrop of the Wild West.  The themes of unrequited love, jealousy, companionship, sacrifice and ultimately falling in love are exploed beautifully in this 1950s classic musical.  Featuring the show stopping numbers: 'Just blew in from the Windy City', 'A Woman's Touch' and the ultimate love song, 'Secret Love', this really is a family favourite you will not want to miss.

at the Epsom Playhouse
Spring 2018

Director - James Fortune
Music Director - David Edwards
Choreographer - Dawn

Cast List

Calamity Jane: Emily Pike
“Wild” Bill Hickok: Barry Stevens
Katie Brown: Lucinda Banton
Lieutenant Danny 
Gilmartin: Stephen Chalkley
Henry Miller: Chris Evans
Susan Miller: Hannah Wade
Francis Fryer: Max Marchesi
Adelaide Adams: Rachel Yelland
Joe the Barman: Nic Ash
“Doc” Pierce: Dil Patel
Rattlesnake: Albert Helg
Scout Hank: Len Martin
Stage Door Johnnies: Didrick Finne
, Chris Haslett, Alan Wilkins, Mike Ellis
Colonel of
 Fort Scully: John Hayman-Joyce
Indian of the Sioux Nation: Eddie Hinds
His Squaw: Suzannah Weston, Mai Ajadabagh
“Charlie from
Nantucket”: John Hayman-Joyce
Joe the Dandy: Charlie Blencowe
His Snobby Wife: Sandra Zeffman
Flo the Drunk: Terry Marsh
Indian Boy: Cyrus Morgan

Saloon Girls

Charlie Qureshi
Krystyna Szafranski
Anna Weddell
Lian Finne
Helen Ash
Sarah Farley
Melanie Beggs

Ensemble

Annie Rohlfing
Anthony Black
Chris Rumbold
Freddie Wilson
Jane Platts
Jill Howlett
Julie Parker
Karen Wilson
Katz Dent
Megan Smith
Roz Holden
Ruby Massey
Ruby Wilson
Simon Ferrier
Zoe Plummer 

Orchestra

Violin 1: Dizzi Li
Violin 2: Emma Quay
Violin 3/Viola: Martin Ash
Cello: Olivia Da Costa
Double Bass: Evangeline Tang
Trumpet 1: Elliot Phelps
Trumpet 2: Greg Rose
Trombone: Chris Ford
Reed 1: Lucinda Dunne
Reed 2: David Zucchini
Reed 3: Jonny Vaux
Percussion: Tristan Butler
Keyboard: Simon Leeson

Show Synopsis

One of the legendary figures of the Old West, Calamity Jane lives in Deadwood and rides shotgun on the stage-coach between Deadwood and Chicago. She dresses as a man, drinks like a man and can shoot better than most men. Although there is an element of truth in her adventures, the number of Indians shot and brave soldiers saved by her have led the townspeople to feel that she is “careless with the truth”!

Despite her outward toughness she has fallen for Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin and also, to a lesser extent, Wild Bill Hickock, a gambler.
Henry Miller is the owner of the Golden Garter Saloon and is anxiously awaiting actress Frances Fryer booked to perform that night. His anxiety increases when she does not arrive on the stage-coach. Due to a booking error a song and dance man Francis Fryer arrives instead, not what Miller’s red blooded customers would want. To dispel a riot Miller persuades Fryer to do a female impersonation. This is a disaster but Calamity saves the day (and Miller’s hide) by promising the angry audience she will go to Chicago and fetch Adelaide Adams, a famous start of vaudeville.

In Chicago, Calamity mistakes Adelaide Adams’ maid, Katie Brown, for the great star. Stage-struck Katie seizes the chance to break into show business by agreeing to perform at the Golden Garter. Her impersonation of Adelaide flops, but Calamity calms the audience and, given a second chance, Katie performs her own act and becomes the toast of Deadwood.

Katie and Calamity become good friends and Katie moves into Calamity’s cabin in the beautiful Black Hills of Dakota. Danny and Bill have fallen for Katie and visit the cabin to seek her favour. A ball at Fort Scully promotes an opportunity for the four of them to go as a foursome, with Calamity in a borrowed gown, revealing her feminine side and becoming the belle of the ball.

Danny finds himself alone with Katie, and declares his love for her. Katie, although worried about Calamity, is overcome by passion and they fondly embrace and kiss. Calamity discovers them and flies into a rage, ordering Katie to get out of town.

Calamity sets back to her cabin to throw Katie’s belongings out, but on the trail with Wild Bill she discovers her “Secret Love” for him, and yes, you can guess, it all ends with wedding bells. But for how many weddings?

Production Team

CJ JamesF

JAMES FORTUNE - DIRECTOR
James has been writing and directing all his life including feature films both in Europe and Hollywood such as ‘Olympus Force’ starring Christopher Lee, Joss Ackland, Linda Thorson, Richard Todd and Linda Lusardi. Shows in the West End include ‘Prisoner Cell Block H’ starring Lily Savage, ‘Stand By Me’ starring Grace Kennedy and ‘Troubadour’ starring Kim Braden.

On television, James wrote and directed ‘To Be Perfectly Frank’ starring Michael Crawford and many commercials and fashion shows. Semi-professional theatre productions have included ‘Kiss Me Kate’ for BANOS, ‘Calamity Jane’ for the Lyric Players and his hilarious and unique production of ‘HMS Pinafore’ for the Leatherhead Operatic Society.

This is James’s sixth show as director for the Epsom Light Opera Company, the previous ones being ‘The Witches of Eastwick’, 'Titanic', ‘Parade’, a revival of his highly acclaimed production of ‘HMS Pinafore’ and ‘Mame’. Three of these won the coveted NODA award for Excellence, the amateur Oscars. He also won two NODAs for his version of 'Sweeney Todd' for WAOS – the Award for Excellence and the Haslemere Trophy for Technical Excellence.

James is delighted to be back with ELOC, directing a brand new production of ‘Calamity Jane’ with the usual superb cast and crew. James is a member of the Inner Magic Circle with Gold Star, one of only 300 in the world, and is a four times Surrey Magic Champion! James is a professional performer and a magical consultant to the entertainment world.

CJ DavidEV2

DAVID EDWARDS - MUSICAL DIRECTOR
This is David's seventh show with Epsom Light Opera Company. He was previously Musical Director for 'The Yeomen of the Guard', 'Carmen the Musical', 'The Pirates of Penzance', 'The Mikado' and 'HMS Pinafore'. The last three shows have won NODA awards. 'The Pirates of Penzance' won the Accolade of Excellence Awards for the best G&S in the SE of England - the latter won the Trower Trophy for best G&S in SE England.

Music is an important part of David's life, having been Musical Director in the past for Cheam Operatic Society and Banstead and Nork Operatic. Until recently, he was Director of Music for a Parish Church in Mitcham, a position he held for twenty seven years. Until his retirement, he was Head of Music in a primary school in Merton and directed many of the borough's annual music festivals. He also worked as a Customer Services Manager for the Home Office. He is now fully retired and enjoys his hobbies of photography and computing.

As well as being a Musical Director, David 'trod the boards' with different amateur companies in the south of London and has taken roles in most of the Gilbert and Sullivan favourites. However his greatest honour was to sing in the choir at the wedding of Prince Charles to Princess Diana in St Paul’s Cathedral. David hopes that you enjoy tonight's performance of 'Calamity Jane' and he would like to thank ELOC for inviting him back as MD for this show.

CJ DawnV2

DAWN - CHOREOGRAPHER
It has been rumoured that Dawn learnt to dance before she knew how to walk and has not looked back since. Dawn’s passion and enthusiasm lead her tip-tapping toes to embark on a career teaching dance as soon as she was able. Starting her teaching career by working in various established schools for 5 years, she developed a unique style which culminated in owning her own successful dance school in Frimley that excelled in all styles. Dawn has taught many of her students from the tender age of 2 through to their adult years and her seniors have regularly formed the core of a cabaret troupe which has supported numerous productions over the years. This close bond with her students has also found her invited into schools to teach specialist modules to GCSE classes.

From here it was but a short hop-skip-and-jump into choreography and ultimately directing.Dawn has worked with numerous societies over the years staging a wide variety of productions from Opera to Musicals including ‘Carmen' (both the Opera and the Musical), ‘Witches of Eastwick', ‘The Hot Mikado’, ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’, ‘Mac and Mabel’, ‘Orpheus’, ‘Oliver’ and ‘Fiddler On The Roof’ to name but a few. It is with great pleasure that Dawn has the opportunity to work with ELOC again on ‘Calamity Jane’, which also happens to be the first show she ever did with them exactly 20 years ago!

Promotional Photos - By Andy Carter

Photos for our promotional photo shoot are available for viewing - click here

Dress Rehearsal Photos - By Andy Carter

Photos from the Dress Rehearsal are available for viewing - click here

Review from Jon Fox, NODA Rep

EPSOM LIGHT OPERA COMPANY

"CALAMITY JANE" Epsom Playhouse, 18th April, 2018

This much loved show featuring Doris Day and Howard Keel and full of haunting melodies has gone down in showbiz history as one of the great shows. To say that ELOC did full justice to this mighty show would be to understate things. This performance had all the requirements any lover of musicals could ever want.

Magnetic performances by the lead players and supporting roles; pace, panache and musicality from the lively and active chorus; crisp, lively dance routines and colourful, even sumptuous costumes aplenty.

Underpinning this thrilling production was the magnetic and slender figure of Emily Pike, Doris Day's young self come magically back to her peak as Calamity. This sassy, vibrant young lady was a real titan on stage, capturing every eye and every male heart! Playing opposite Doris, sorry Emily, was Barry Stevens, excellent and world weary as "Wild" Bill Hickock. As the glorious melodies in this mighty score came tumbling out one by one - and what a list they are - each was enacted with marvellous musicality and truth. Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster, music and lyric writers would have been proud of this performance.    

To me as an older lover of real melodies, this musical was a rare treat, reminiscent of the days when all amateur theatre leads and supporting roles were expected to bring top quality singing to the roles.

David Edwards and his fourteen instrument by thirteen musicians band gave full rein to the marvellous music and David's control of dynamics was superb. I heard every word by all the soloists, which is not a regular occurrence. Sure footed sound by Stuart Vaughan played an important role throughout.

Lucinda Banton as Katie Brown, at first somewhat timid, as the character demands, blossomed into full throttle in both acting and singing as the crowd encouraged her. Her two duets with Calamity and with Bill were show highlights by all three players.

Other top performances were given by Stephen Chalkley as Lt. Danny Gilmartin, Max Marchesi as the "frightened" Francis Fryer - a peach of a performance - and the mesmeric Chris Evans as bar owner Henry Miller.

Nic Ash as Joe the Barman gave sterling support and showed his rich baritone voice and Dil Patel did equally well as "Doc" Pierce, as did Hannah Wade as Susan Miller.   Many other named characters, too many to credit individually, nevertheless made their various roles real individuals and added much lustre to their pacy, vibrant performances. Four Stage Door Johnies, well dressed apart from some unpolished black shoes, fêted the "superior" Adelaide Adams, played to the hilt by Rachel Yelland. I was sorry to see her leave, so polished was she!

I really cannot praise the ensemble too highly! Energy, life, pace and individual characters abounded in all company scenes. Energetic, really well rehearsed and some intricate dance routines by choreographer Dawn made a full contribution in so many scenes.

The saloon set was magnificently real, detailed and one really felt drawn in to the scene. Stage manager Sarah Wood, assisted by Richard Pike and their team worked wonders with slick changes. I also much liked the cabin and the transformation as if by magic!

Mighty show director James Fortune is well known as a top Magic Circle magician and his magic dust was showered all over this show. His groupings, slick changes with skilled use of highly atmospheric lighting under Simon Banks and his "spot on" team were from the very top drawer.

Other highlights - though the entire show was one long highlight - were the gorgeous and emotionally sung "Secret Love" by Emily, "Higher than a Hawk" by Barry, the umbrella dance scene with Max and magnificent girl dancers and "Windy City", including the reprise.

Costumes way above amateur standard were provided by Elizabeth Callow and Dress Circle, all co-ordinated most effectively by Elizabeth.

All in all a top rate show and ELOC have once again lived up to their top class and richly deserved reputation.                                                                                                                            

Jon Fox

NODA District 19

Audience Reviews

"What a performance! Brilliant! I really enjoyed the show. I thought Calamity was amazing – I loved her voice and I thought she portrayed the character perfectly. The dancing was great – fabulous Can-Can girls! The songs were sung so well – especially The Black Hills, Secret Love and The Deadwood Stage. The performers looked as though they were enjoying themselves so much. You all must be exhausted after each performance!”
Beverley M

"Everything, and I mean everything, in the show was just right. I’ve not seen a better version and I have been in three.”
Pam H

"The Black Hills of Dakota has never and will never be done better. It was simply beautiful.”
Harry H

"I went to a wonderful West End musical last night – except it wasn’t in the West End and it didn’t cost West End prices but in every other way it WAS a West End show. Calamity Jane at the Epsom Playhouse was the best amateur – yes, amateur – show I have ever seen, and I have seen many. It’s only on this week. Shame, it should run and run. Do whatever you need to do to see it. You’ll not see anything better!”
Anthony S

Promotional Videos

ELOC Proudly Presents Calamity Jane

Click the video below to go behind the scenes at our recent promo photo shoot!

See some of the cast perform some of the great numbers from Calamity Jane live in Epsom Town Centre on Saturday 7th April 2018!


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