Belfast Telegraph

It’s showtime again as teacher Alice chalks up another musical classic

Popular and talented Alice Johnston, from Orangefield, will be swapping the blackboard for the stage at the Grand Opera House when she takes on the title role in Belfast Operatic Company’s production of classic musical Calamity Jane.

Alice, a P1 teacher at Lisburn Central School, received much |acclaim last year in her debut principal role as Belle in the company’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

This year will be a totally different experience as she plays the role of a feisty tomboy character, who by the end of the performance, is transformed into a lady of romance.

Outside teaching, Alice is involved in many musical activities, leading the children’s choir at the Salvation Army’s Cregagh Road citadel plus playing in the band and singing with the |songsters.

The 24-year-old is also |musical director at the recently |established and growing Belfast School of Performing Arts for children up to 18. She describes this as a really enjoyable and exciting challenge.

This is something of a repeat for Alice who first took the role of Calamity as a lower sixth pupil at Victoria College Belfast. This she said was a huge undertaking at that stage in her life.

She adds:“However, performing this show in the Grand Opera House is an even bigger challenge and I am striving to make the role as true to the Calamity Jane everyone knows and loves.

“Calamity is fiery, energetic and jerky but beneath it all, she really does have what it takes to be loved. She has a soft side underneath the layers of masculinity. I absolutely love the challenge and cannot wait to go to the Black Hills of Dakota in my buckskins on opening night.”

The fictional tale, loosely based on the supposed relationship |between Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickock being played by Iain Mercer, is full of big musical numbers, comedy and some very entertaining dance scenes, delivering boundless energy and fun.

The show runs from March 15 to 19, and is directed and choreographed by Declan Moore with Colin Scott as musical director.

Tickets ranging from £10.95 to £24.95 are available from the Grand Opera House at (028) 90241919 or book online at

Belfast Telegraph


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