Calamity Wayne – Steve French
Katie – Pete Tincknell
Scary Mary – Steve Collinson
Norris Day – James Frost
Boris Day – Victoria Wakeling
Butch Casn’t See – Jack Carroll
One Dance Kid – Louise Cooper
Wild Bill – Ryan Cooper
Danny Martingale – Andy Childs
Wyatt Burp – Rosie Winstone
Deputy Doug – George Pruden
The Mole – Tilly Bowen
Big Chief – Gil Oliphant
Squawking Sue – Imogen Crees
Henton Hank – Liz Owen
Godney Rodney – Becky Wiseman
Coxley Colin – Tamsin French
Cheddar Gorge – Harriet Griffiths
Little Big Hat – Di Harris
Billybob – Emily Waterfield
Jimbob – Isaac Talbot
Imogen Elstob, Sophie Cook, Daisy Pruden, Jayden Price, Sophie Wiseman, Indie Treasure, Shannon Laws, Lucy Wiseman, Abi Flynn
Backstage – Ann Gouldney
Lights – Ted Jenkins
Prompt & Biscuits – Gay Harrison
All Round Help – Pete Tincknell
Make-up/Chaperones – Jane Pruden, Anna Wiseman, Fenella Jones
Box Office – Gill Tinknell
Bar – Kelly Simpson
Set Building – Anthony Jonas
Additional Costume – Carole Blacker
Photos – Myrtle Pizzey
Wookey Theatre Group brought the Wild West to Wookey with a big show that packed a punch. The moment they burst onto the stage at Wookey Church Hall with Go West, the cast of Calamity Wayne wowed a full house with a spectacular opening musical number.
Not your traditional pantomime, Calamity Wayne combined the award winning theatre group’s blend of panto, musical and humour. Brilliantly choreographed song and dance routines performed to classic tracks reinvigorated by John Carroll’s lyrics, really made the show.
We first meet Butch (Jack Carroll) and the One Dance Kid (Louise Cooper, dad dancer supreme) at the Ringers Saloon where they are getting ready for the Hootin’ Tootin’ Hoedown. Enter the Yarley Hill Mob and Scary Mary ‘the brains behind the entire outfit’. Steve Collinson rocked the Amy Winehouse look as Scary Mary, giving a towering performance which won him lots of laughs and even requests for his autograph. Just in case anyone had lost the plot Scary Mary hosts a quiz, “What in tarnation’s going on?” half way through to keep us on track. The baddie we loved to boo turned out to be not so bad after all when the Mole of Wookey Hole (played with poise by young Tilly Bowen) is revealed as the real villain of the piece.
Pete Tincknell was absolutely brilliant as Katie, a dame worthy of fame, who is persuaded to impersonate Kylie Minogue. His rendition of Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, clad in a revealing white jumpsuit, will long be remembered in the Ring O’ Bells and his romance scenes with Danny Martingale (Andy Childs) are no doubt the talk of the Wookey Hub.
Katie and Squawking Sue (played superbly by Imogen Crees) give Calamity a makeover – a man playing a woman, dressed as a man, getting dressed up as a woman. Steve French somehow managed to pull this off, while singing a revamped version of Dude Looks Like a Lady with Katie: “You might wonder why we’re grinning, because we’re always dressed up as women. I spoke to my wife just the other night, she said she don’t mind but all her clothes are too tight!”. He was excellent as the indignant and flustered Calamity: “You’re not getting me all dolled up like some pantomime dame. Forget it.”
Lawman Wyatt Burp (Rosie Winston) was ably assisted by Deputy Doug (George Pruden), both very funny. Gil Oliphant played Big Chief Chicken Heart to a tee and there was brilliance from the young braves (Sophie Cook, Imogen Elstob, Abi Flynn, Jayden Price, Daisy Pruden, Shannon Laws, Indie Treasure, Lucy Wiseman and Sophie Wiseman). Special credit should go to all the children for their singing, dancing and acting. There were standout moments from Godney Rodney (Rebecca Wiseman) and the other younger members of the Yarley Hill Mob (Tamsin French and Harriet Griffiths).
Hillbillies Henton Hank (Liz Owen) and Little Big Hat (Di Harris) had the audience roaring with laughter, as did Wild Bill (Ryan Cooper) who did a star turn as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Billybob (Emily Waterfield) and Jimbob (Isaac Talbot, the youngest member of the cast) played their parts magnificently and saloon owner Norris Day (James Frost) showed an assurance beyond his years.
The songs included heart stopping solos from Boris Day (Victoria Wakeling) and Jack Carroll (Butch) in Don’t Stop Believin’. Scary Mary and the whole cast belting out Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting was fantastic. They finished the show on a high with Crazy Nights, receiving a standing ovation.
Great acting, singing, dancing, comedy, a quiz, three dames and a chase scene – what more could you want? Calamity Wayne was another triumph from director Polly Carroll, producer Ann Gouldney, scriptwriter Paula Williams and the rest of the team. Wardrobe mistress Jane Casey deserves a special mention for the fabulous costumes, as does Brian Wyatt (set design and construction) and Ted Jenkins (set construction and lights).