Jerry Hall (pictured in costume) will return to the London stage next month to play Wild West legend Calamity Jane in the world premiere of Douglas Squires’ My Darlin' Janey. The one-woman show opens at north London’s King’s Head Theatre on 25 October 2004 (previews from 19 October) and continues to 28 November.

An ex-model and ex-wife of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger, Hall's previous stage credits have included The Graduate (in which she starred as Mrs Robinson), The Vagina Monologues, Bus Stop, (all in the West End), Benchmark (New End) and Picasso's Women (tour). She has also appeared in The Play What I Wrote and, this past February, broke the world record for the most theatrical appearances in the West End in a single evening, dropping into the cast of six musicals (See The Goss, 24 Feb 2004).

Though a legendary figure, Calamity Jane (1848 -1903) remains something of a mystery. Little is known of her true life, not helped by the fact that she herself was known for outrageous lies and storytelling. It’s documented that she had an affair with Bill Hickock which produced a daughter, Janey, who she gave up for adoption. Over the years, Calamity kept a diary of letters to one day be read by her "darlin’ Janey".

Based on these original letters - now held in the Wonderland Museum, Billings, Montana - Squire’s dramatisation portrays a complicated woman who led a fascinating and dangerous life in the ‘Wild Wild West’. The play includes her visit to London in 1887 where she performed in Colonel Bill Cody’s (Buffalo Bill’s) Wild West Show with Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, and Frank North, for Queen Victoria and the Prince of Wales.

My Darlin' Janey is directed by actor-turned-director Angela Richards, who has recently played Dorothy Fields and Ethel Merman at the King’s Head in, respectively Dorothy Fields Forever and Call Me Merman. It’s designed by Nigel Hook, with lighting by David Howe and costumes by Anthony Johns. Barbara Ferris and Caroline Smith produce.


Prior to My Darlin' Janey, the King’s Head is hosting Steve Black’s play about Marilyn Monroe. Missing Marilyn has a limited season from 20 September to 17 October 2004 (previews from 7 September).

Sally Day and Andrew Crabb star as Monroe and the mysterious man she meets and opens up to in a seedy motel where she flees, in 1955, to escape the pressures of being the world’s biggest film star. The production is directed by another actor-turned-director, Jonathan Hyde, whose acting credits include Jumpers at the National and The Tailor of Panama on screen.

Missing Marilyn is produced by Joanna Hole for IE Theatre and FIT in association with the King’s Head.

- by Terri Paddock