REVIEW: Calamity Jane, YMCA, Scarborough

Josephine Pimm and  Liam Galashan in Calamity Jane
Josephine Pimm and Liam Galashan in Calamity Jane

She’s a pistol-packing mama who filled the St Thomas Street theatre to the rafters with a gung-ho performance.

UK Foundation for Dance teamed up with Scarborough Musicals to present this hit-packed Wild West show – the story of a tomboy who finds her feminine side, loses her man and then finds another.

Becca Heyward played the buckskin-clad gal-of-a-gun with heart and soul - belting out Windy City and taking it down to a tender note for Secret Love.

She was the perfect balance to the sweet Katie Brown played by Josephine Pimm who was able to exploit her –comedic to tragic – full range. She does gawky and guache equally well.

Step forward muscial theatre’s rising star – Damon Hotchin. He played the lead in Jesus Christ Superstar at the YM earlier this year and here stepped in to the big cowboy boots of Wild Bill Hickok. He and Heywood were a perfect match, swagger and sweetness personified.

So did Liam Galashan as Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin make a perfect match for Pimm.

Cameos there are aplenty in Calam – and best of them were Georgie Samuels – brought the house down – as Adelaide Adams, Stu Large as Francis Fryer, Dave Blaker as Golden Garter proprietor Henry Miller and Pippa Mundey as Susan.

Some fancy footwork came courtesy of choreography from Sheryl Buttner and not forgetting the live band.

As ever this company work as a team – yes there are the ‘stars’ but it is very much an ensemble effort which comes to the fore in Deadwood Stage, the harmonising in Black Hills of Dakota and the gutsy Careless with the Truth and Windy City.

This was whip-cracking, pacy, sweet, fun and funny sing-along hit show.

It runs until Saturday November 8, daily at 7.30pm with a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.

Review: Sue Wilkinson