Cowboys, indians and a love story

Matt Sackman (25) who plays Will Bill Hickcok in the Musical Western with Sally Goddard (24) who plays Calamity Jane.   Pictures: Malcolm Wells (121339-1586)
Matt Sackman (25) who plays Will Bill Hickcok in the Musical Western with Sally Goddard (24) who plays Calamity Jane. Pictures: Malcolm Wells (121339-1586)
As You Like It, with Jessica Hayles centre. Picture by Keith Pattison

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With dusty deserts, rootin’ tootin’ cowboys and a lot of gun toting and fighting, the Wild West is arriving at the Kings Theatre, Southsea from April 24-28.

The fiesty heroine will be trying to prove she can do anything a man can do as South Downe Musical Society puts on the musical, Calamity Jane.

Made into a blockbuster film starring Howard Keel and Doris Day in 1953, the tale of the woman who dresses like man is based on the life of Martha Jane.

Infamously known as Calamity Jane, she was a professional scout and became famous for her acquaintance with Wild Bill Hickok and for fighting Native Americans.

Playing the iconic lead is previous Guide Award winner Sally Goddard – for her it’s a dream role.

Sally explains: ‘It’s basically one of my favourite films and has been ever since I was about three years old. I’ve seen it hundreds of times and it’s a part I’ve always really wanted to play.

‘I’m really looking forward to it but I imagine I’ll be pretty nervous as it gets closer!’

Set in the small town of Deadwood in South Dakota, America, it follows Calamity Jane as she vows to bring a famous singer to perform infront of the men, but she accidently brings home the wrong girl.

Sally says: ‘She gets into a lot of trouble. She’s humilated and everyone has a go at her, but then they realise that they all love the actress anyway.’

‘She even ends up falling in love with Wild Bill, who she was friends with before but they loved and hated each other at the same time.’

It means 24-year-old Sally has to play a very masculine role.

She explains: ‘She’s obviously a manly woman. She dresses like a man, talks like a man, shoots a gun, and rides a stagecoach. She’s nice really but she she doesn’t like to let on that and she’s quite fiesty and energetic.’

South Downe Musical Society has been looking to put on the iconic musical for a number of years although the timing hasn’t been quite right.

Sally says: ‘I think they were going to do it last year but it couldn’t go on. It’s everybody’s favourite and everyone enjoys doing it.’

Tickets cost £11 to £15 from the Kings Theatre, Southsea on (023) 9282 8282 or go to kings-southsea.com.