Calendar Girls is a musical by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, which tells the true story of a group of WI Ladies from Yorkshire, who, after one of their number lost her husband to cancer, decided to make a calendar to sell in order raise enough money to buy a settee for the hospital relatives room where her husband was treated. After lots of discussion they decided to make it a nude calendar and the First Act retraces how they went on to fight against other members and officers of their own WI, families and the National WI Association to be able to do it. Also the end of life of the husband is covered during Act one. Tears are shed by some in the audience too who feel the pain shown through the story telling.
It’s in Act two that we see the making of the calendar. This was so funny with the ladies wondering about taking part, especially about being photographed in the nude and by a man! It’s easy to forget the great songs whilst the posing and stripping for the pictures takes place.
The finale is brilliant and explains that the group had raised enough to buy a settee but there was also enough money to build a new wing at the hospital which was going to be named after the departed husband. There were so many amusing chats between the ladies as well as plenty of fantastic songs. The sadness, comedy and witty comments made this both emotional and entertaining.
Based on a true story, the women’s calendar sold worldwide! A fantastic achievement.
Praise to all the women Tanya Franks, Maureen Nolan, Lyn Paul, Amy Robbins, Paula Tappenden, Marti Webb and Honeysuckle Weeks and Colin R Campbell and Graham Macduff as the Husband and the Photographer. The performances of each one were great and deserving of the applause and standing ovation at the end.
This was an entertaining, sad but funny play with warmth and positivity. Musical director Jordan Alexander and his small band performed marvellous music to accompany the songs. The simple but strangely effective set of a wooden church hall portrayed the setting for the English let’s have a go enthusiasm.
A great night out, showing how important friendship and community spirit can be, not to mention the strength of character shown in this inspirational story.
Calendar Girls Tuesday 14th – Saturday 18th November