The sensational musical spectacle that is Calendar Girls by the brilliant Gary Barlow and Tim Firth returns to the Grand Theatre Leeds. This new production has been reworked from its original over two years ago in the form of The Girls, which again premiered at the prestigious Grand Theatre Leeds. With so much hype and excitement around this fantastic story, which has captured the hearts of the entire nation, I couldn’t wait to see and hear the latest version of the award-winning show unfold before me. Now 20 years since the inspiration began when 12 members of the Rylstone and District Women’s Institute in Yorkshire took off their clothes to produce an alternative calendar in memory of a friend, raising an enormous amount of money for blood cancer research charity Bloodwise.
With a star-studded cast setting the scene in rural Yorkshire we are introduced to the incredible characters Chris (Rebecca Storm) and Annie (Anna-Jane Casey), best friends who have taken on the world. When tragedy strikes, John (Phil Corbitt), Annie’s husband is diagnosed with Leukemia which rocks the whole community causing the ladies of the WI to embark on an unbelieve journey. A simple idea to raise money to pay for a comfortable sofa in the relative’s room at the hospital spirals beyond belief. Lending support in every way Ruth (Sara Crowe), Cora (Karen Dunbar), Jessie (Ruth Madoc) and Celia (Denise Welch) all join forces to bring the idea and memory of John alive forever. Not all the ladies are following suit as Marie (Fern Britton) the chair of the WI has different plans and attempts to bring order to the chaos with little effect.
Amazing performances from all the cast capturing the true meaning of community spirit, compassion and friendship to last a lifetime. The younger cast add some fun and bridge the generation gap, teaching us that we can’t do anything our parents haven’t done before us and are we truly the vision of our mums and dads.
Ingenious lyrics and music with enchanting melodies that capture your heart. With new original classics like Yorkshire, Scarborough and Sunflower the whole feeling and impression of this fantastic production with have you crying with laughter, the unfortunate sadness in life and through to the heart-warming nature of the human spirit.