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  • Writer's pictureRebecca M Barrie

"Whip, crack, away."

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

Calamity Jane

Well it's here, the start of a new month, but for us at MMTC, June would normally mean one thing... SHOW WEEK!

A week today we would have been a the theatre for the get in, building and prepping our set, the next day would be the famous tech rehearsal ( this is for the lighting, sound and crew more than the cast!) Tuesday the Dress rehearsal and on the wednesday we would be donning our costumes for the boys it would be cowboy boots, Stetsons and guns. For the girls, western style filly dresses or should that be deer hide in Calam's case, doing last minute mic checks, warm ups and preparing for curtain up on our opening night.

Sadly for our production team, cast and crew, we will have to wait until next year to return to Deadwood.

It’s crazy to think that around ten weeks ago we were all working so hard to set routines and learn lines and now we are all stuck in a surreal world of social distancing and coronavirus updates.

Rehearsals for the show were well under way and everyone was working incredibly hard, we had set several scenes and had been working on some of the shows biggest numbers like 'Just blew in from the city’, ‘The Deadwood Stage’ and ‘The Black Hills of Dakota’ as well working on the fabulous Cancan routine.

Even though the production had to come to a halt, it is not the end for the show and we know that when the time comes we will work hard to make this production bigger and better than we could have imagined!

Thoughts from the cast and production team:

We asked our production team:

How it feels to be on the team? What they feel about the cancellation? What they're looking forward to?

Leslie Longley -Director

Les Longley

Having the opportunity to be a part of Calamity Jane as the Director was utterly brilliant, it felt great to get this chance and was grateful for the trust that both the chairman Betty and committee of MMTC had in me.

Being on the production team with two people, who are not only talented and experienced but also two very good friends in Sarah Fletcher and Charles Moss was great. It was easy to communicate with one another and we set out a straightforward schedule.

Rehearsals for Calamity Jane seemed to be going well, song after song, dance after dance and scene after scene was completed, with the events that occurred at the beginning of March it was strange because there was no clear picture of what was going on, but Betty, the committee and the production team did our best to communicate with one another and try sort something out and we did.

The rehearsals were cancelled. And now the show is postponed till November 2021, which I can’t wait for! So, I'm not sad, just more eager to get back to it. When we return next year, we will be starting with Guys and Dolls in June which will be a fantastic show to be involved in, then hopefully we can pick up where we left off later in the year and get to finish to Calamity Jane! I can’t wait to see everyone once again and get back to making some great memories and of course even better shows.


Charles Moss Musical Director

Charles Moss

“It was a great pity, but understandable that, in common with many other Performing Arts Groups, our production of “Calamity Jane” had to be postponed.

On the positive side, following rehearsals, and arrangements having been made, the show will go ahead together with 2 further major shows in 2021/ 2022. Lots therefore to look forward to in the future. I am greatly looking forward to rehearsing again with the talented MMTC company.

Take care, everyone...your Company and Production Team needs you! “


Sarah Fletcher - Choreographer

Saz Fletcher

“Having been in MMTC’s last production of Calamity Jane (2007) I couldn’t wait to get started working with Les for the first time and also work with Charles for the first time on a production team rather than as a performer.

I was sad that the show had to be cancelled especially now as it means we will lose an original cast member but know that it will be fabulous when we get to perform it next year.

I am looking forward to being on stage again in Guys and Dolls and hopefully not reprising my role of ‘triangle player’ in the Sally Army mission band and getting to work with my fabulous MMTC family on Calamity Jane again! Missing all of my MMTC family so much, stay safe everyone xxx”


We also spoke to a few members of our talented cast to get an insight to how they felt landing their roles, what are their thoughts on the cancellation of the show and what they are looking forward to in the future?

Kayleigh Ginley – Calamity Jane

Kayleigh Ginley

“I was so surprised and thankful to land myself the Role of Calamity Jane, as the talent in our company is outstanding.

Everybody is so supportive and genuine!

It was so exciting to start delving into the character, but only several weeks in, MMTC were faced with a tough decision to stop rehearsals due to COVID-19, I was devastated when the show was cancelled but I knew in my heart it was the best decision. Both for the health of our performers and our audiences, this was most definitely the best thing for MMTC. It was a realistic and sensible decision to postpone our shows until 2021.

Although I’m missing performing and everybody so much, we have Guys & Dolls to look forward to in June 2021 and then Calamity Jane November 2021. Hoping we can get back together soon, towards the end of the year for our yearly music night and Christmas party and hoping all our wonderful members are staying safe at these times, when faced with so much uncertainty. X”


Lee Ashall - Wild Bill Hickok

Lee Ashall

“I was absolutely over the moon when I found out I had landed the part of Wild Bill. Calamity Jane was one of the musicals I used to watch as a kid, so for MMTC to take it on was really exciting for me. I couldn’t wait to get started! 

Having the show cancelled after a few weeks of rehearsals was a massive blow but at the same time I did understand why. The hardest thing obviously is not seeing your extended family every week. 

Looking forward, I know that we will come back stronger than ever. Guys and Dolls is almost the perfect feel good show to throw yourself into and I’ve already started counting down the days till I can do what I love with the bestest of friends.”


Alice McKillop – Katie Brown

Alice McKillop

“When I got the role of Katie Brown in ‘Calamity Jane’ I was over the moon. Aside from playing Frenchy in ‘Grease’ This will be my first singing role with MMTC, so I was extremely excited for the opportunity.

I have been a member of MMTC for 5 years now, and I have always been in awe of our extremely talented members who have played leading roles, which is why I found my character very relatable.

When the show was postponed, I was gutted. My character doesn’t appear until part way through act one, so I had only been needed for two rehearsals. Luckily, I still got to experience Les Longley’s direction. I found Les easy to work with. He has thought outside of the box with his vision of the show, and when we finally get to the stage, I guarantee our audiences are in for a treat!!”


Ryan O' Sullivan Glynn - Lieutenant Danny Gilmartin

Ryan O'Sullivan Glynn

‘The show must go on’ and for this I just mean that even though we couldn’t bring Calamity Jane to stage yet that the show of MMTC and it’s community still goes on.

I was really excited to play Danny as it was one of my first big principal roles. I was hugely disappointed when it was cancelled as I knew my last show with MMTC was over. I think the future of musical theatre and MMTC will show how close musical theatre groups are and how they can band together to get through hard times and bring it back to good times. I’d love to come back at some point and who knows it might happen but my plan for next year is to be back in Ireland for a year before setting off travelling.


At rehearsals before covid-19 lockdown


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