REVIEW: Calamity Jane (2014 – 2015 UK Tour)

I’ve debated whether or not to write this review, as I strongly believe in two principles – the industry needs to stop talking theatre ‘down’ and that you should always write an honest review,

With those at the forefront of my mind, this is my review of Calamity Jane (2015 tour) – as viewed at Manchester’s Palace Theatre on Tuesday 24th March from row F in the stalls.

My partner, Max, and I decided that we wanted to see this production, based on the wildly popular film version, staring Doris Day. I drag Max to a lot, but I attended this one purely for him.

Unfortunately, it was Calamity by name, Calamity by lead casting in my opinion.

Listed below are a few of the ‘more serious’ issues that I had with the production:

  • Jodie Prenger’s accent was diabolical. Her singing voice was much too strong and far too raspy for the production too.
  • The storyline was not effectively communicated – especially the first thirty minutes.

I review a lot of musical theatre and would like to think that I know my stuff when it comes to embracing a wide and varied array of songs from musical theatre, so please don’t shoot me down on the basis of ignorance – personally, the songs in this show are not really my style of musical (nobody’s fault).

On the balance of fairness, this show is getting very solid and great reviews from other reviewers and news publications.

Additionally, at 30 years old, I did seem to be one of the younger members of the audience that evening – older generations could be heard commenting on ‘how wonderful’ it was during the interval.

I did very much appreciate the musical talents of the cast – most people were able to play multiple instruments, act and sing – a rarity in this day and age on our regional stages. The production is definitely to be praised for this.

I know I’m probably going to get trolled to death, but I’m nothing if not honest – I value the integrity of my reviewing over being a crowd pleaser – sorry if that rubs you up the wrong way.

Perhaps I’ve just seen too much in my time, and consequently have set the bar a little high…


About Gari

Northern lad; living out in the Peak District and rediscovering life after having had a brain tumour.