Plum jam, knitting and a victoria sponge – three ingredients that help to make a delightfully British play!
Since it originally opened back in 2009, Calendar Girls has been a roaring success and this Easter the star -studded production comes to the Opera House, Manchester for its final tour.
The play centers on the friendship of two WI members, feisty Chris (played by Lynda Bellingham) and gentle Annie (Jan Harvey). When Annie’s husband John (played by Joe McGann) dies from Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Chris and Annie come up with the idea to pose nude for the annual WI calendar and raise money to buy a new sofa for the local hospital wing in memory of Annie’s husband.
Supported by their loyal WI comrades they set out on a journey of self-discovery and strip off in the name of charity proving that age is just a number.
With a fantastic supporting female cast including Deena Payne, June Watson, Sue Holderness, Lisa Riley, Ruth Madoc and Jane Lambert this is an uplifting and hilarious production from start to finish. Lynda Bellingham and Lisa Riley, in particular, steal the show and their comic performances are outstanding.
This production will literally have the audience crying with both laughter and emotion. Tim Firth’s play deals with a very uncomfortable and difficult topic with genuine sincerity and hilarity. Calendar Girls is a heartwarming story brilliantly performed by an excellent cast.
Go and see this intrinsically British play and join in the chorus of ‘Jerusalem!’
By Tim Firth
Opera House, Manchester