Jodie Prenger talks about her lead role in Calamity Jane which is heading for Buxton Opera House

Jodie Prenger plays Calamity Jane
Jodie Prenger plays Calamity Jane
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Actress and singer Jodie Prenger is taking the lead role in the national tour of Calamity Jane.

Ahead of her visit to the town’s Opera House from May 26 to May 30, she gave us an insight into the role and the production:

What spurred you into taking on this show?

It was any excuse to get in some buckskins and crack a whip (laughs), joking apart I grew up on songs like The Deadwood Stage, The Windy City, Secret Love. When this project came around there was not even a speckle of no-ness (sic) in my mind.

It’s just great, the whole creative team, the sets, the costumes; it was a no brainer really.

Doris Day famously played Calamity in the film version; did you take any inspiration from her performance?

I’m a huge Doris Day fan, I actually want to write to her but I get too nervous. I did watch the Calamity Jane film repeatedly when I was a child, through my teens and my twenties; but when we started the project I purposely didn’t do an imitation of Doris’ Calamity; she’s better than that. My goal was to put a lot of myself in there; I did some research on Martha Jane Canary, who Calamity is based on. I think all bar being an alcoholic and smoking I’ve got most of her traits; she’s feisty and she speaks as she finds.

Have you managed to holiday in Deadwood, Black Hills Dakota as part of your research for the part?

Sadly I haven’t had a holiday for three years… Don’t get your mini violin out and play it, It’s been brilliant because I’ve never stopped working.

Why should people see the show?

If I didn’t have to keep my dogs in chew sticks, my chickens in chicken feed and my Dagu in pellets I would pay for everyone to come and see it.

It’s just something special – for me personally, I‘ve never known audiences where you can see little cowgirls and cowboys aged 5 enjoying it as much as people of 105! I think it’s because it’s an old time musical.

My Nan always says if it’s not broke don’t fix it and that’s true of Calamity Jane, it has stood the test of time.

People will remember you for winning I’d Do Anything on TV. Do you have fond memories of that time?

You know it’s like any of those special moments in life, it feels like a life time ago and yet it feels like yesterday.

It is something that I will always be so grateful for. This is going to sound so corny but it did make my dreams come true. I’m very grateful of every day I get to stand on stage and give it some welly.

Are you still in touch with the other contestants?

You know the wonderful world of Twitter keeps us in touch; I haven’t seen the girls for a bit because I’ve been on tour which is great shame.

The cast of Oliver I do manage to keep in touch with more, it was a phenomenal experience!

Tickets for Calamity Jane at Buxton Opera House range from £16-£34 for matinee performances on May 27, 28 and 30 at 2.30pm and £26-£38 for evening performances at 7.30pm from May 26 to 30. To book, contact 0845 127 2190 or 01298 72190 or www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk