Last night, at the opening night of Tim Firth and Gary Barlow’s Calendar Girls – The Musical, three Midlands leaders of the WI (or Women’s Institute) headed backstage to meet the cast.
Lynne Stubbings (NFWI Chair, of Wishaw WI, Warwickshire), Patience Broad (NFWI Trainer and Trustee, Worcestershire of Wells & Wyche WI, Worcestershire) and Sue White (Vice Chairman of Worcestershire and WI Adviser, Ripple & Earls Croome WI, Worcestershire) met with cast members including Lesley Joseph and Lisa Maxwell for photos and the chance to share real life stories from the WI.
Calendar Girls The Musical is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands, and have to date raised almost £5million for Bloodwise. This musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary.
Leading the cast is beloved star of stage and screen, Lesley Joseph. Although perhaps best known for playing Dorien Green in the ITV sitcom Birds of a Feather, alongside Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson, Lesley has a wealth of theatrical experience to her credit. Most recently she starred as Frau Blücher in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein at the Garrick Theatre, a role which earned her an Olivier Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical.
Lesley Joseph is joined by Sarah Jane Buckley (Blood Brothers and Hollyoaks) as Annie, Sue Devaney (Dinnerladies, Casualty, Coronation Street, Mamma Mia!) as Cora, Julia Hills (Broadchurch, The Archers) as Ruth, Judy Holt (Cold Feet, Scott & Bailey) as Marie and Lisa Maxwell (Loose Women, Hollyoaks, The Bill) as Celia and Rebecca Storm (Evita, Les Miserables, Chess) as Chris.
Gary Barlow and Tim Firth grew up in the same village in the North of England and have been friends for 25 years. With Take That, Gary has written and co-written 14 number one singles, has sold over 50 million records worldwide and is a six times Ivor Novello Award winner. Tim has won the Olivier Award and UK Theatre Award for Best New Musical, and the British Comedy Awards Best Comedy Film for Calendar Girls.
The cast also includes Phil Corbitt as John, Ian Mercer as Rod, Sebastian Aberneri as Colin, Alan Stocks as Denis, Pauline Daniels as Lady Cravenshire, Ellie Leah as Miss Wilson, Danny Howker as Danny, Isabel Caswell as Jenny and Tyler Dobbs as Tommo.
Calendar Girls – The Musical continues until Saturday 8 June 2019, for tickets and more information click here.