Bohemians come out with all guns blazing

blowing into town this week are the talented cast of ‘Calamity Jane’.

The popular musical is being staged by Falkirk Bohemians and there were no first-night nerves as they performed before a packed house on Tuesday.

21/10/2011 pic lisa ferguson'Falkirk Bohemians dress rehearsal for Calamity Jane

21/10/2011 pic lisa ferguson'Falkirk Bohemians dress rehearsal for Calamity Jane

This pistol-packing show has everything a production needs – singing, dancing, comedy and, of course, the obligatory romance.

Based on the film, starring Doris Day and Howard Keel, this musical western tells the tale of Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok and the people of Deadwood City.

When Henry Miller, the proprietor of the Golden Garter saloon played by Craig Lowe, fails to deliver a beautiful actress to sing in his premises, Calamity calms the unhappy crowd and promises to bring back top stage star Adelaide Adams (Leigh-Anne Struthers).

But as with all good stories, she lives up to her name and causes further trouble by bringing back not the voluptuous Miss Adams, but her maid, Katie Brown.

The mayhem that ensues makes brilliant entertainment and is ably delivered by the Bohemians at their best. And as with all good stories, there is, of course, a happy ending, but not before true love is tested to the limits.

In Marianne Herron the show has its very own blonde sweetheart, although in buckskins, boots and cap, her femininity is undercover most of the time. She makes the role of Calamity her own with perfect delivery of the one-liners and some slick dance steps.

Her rendition of ‘My Secret Love’ is one of the show highlights, perhaps only beaten by the moving production of ‘The Black Hills of Dakota’.

Katie is ably played by namesake Katie Brown, who has just the right amount of humour for the maid mistaken for the star and her duet of ‘Love You Dearly’ with romantic interest Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin (Maurice Pryke) was well received.

Michael Coyne plays gambler Wild Bill Hickok, who spends most of the show criticising Calamity for not being more like a woman and when she is transformed, finds himself falling in love with her. His strong voice held the audience spellbound, particularly during ‘Higher Than A Hawk’ and his reprise of ‘My Secret Love’ with Calamity.

Some of the show’s most humorous moments came courtesy of Darren Jalland as Francis Fryer, the song and dance man, and his ‘Hive Full of Honey’ was hilarious.

This is certainly a brilliant production delivered by a company which, although not large in number, is brimming with talent.

‘Calamity Jane’ runs until Saturday at Falkirk Town Hall. Tickets priced £10, £8 concessions tonight (Thursday), are available from the Steeple Box Office on (01324) 506850.