Friday, June 23

First casting news for new tour of Calendar Girls

First casting has been revealed for a new touring production of Calendar Girls The Musical which is set to open in Windsor  on 30 August.

Written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, the piece explores the true story of a group of women from a Yorkshire W.I., who decide to raise money for charity by posing for a nude calendar. It began its life as a 2003 film, starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, before being adapted into a 2008 stage play and then again into a musical which debuted in 2015.

First casting news is that The cast includes Tanya Franks (Annie Clarke), Maureen Nolan (Ruth), Lyn Paul (Jessie), Amy Robbins (Chris Harper), Paula Tappenden (Marie), Marti Webb (Celia) and, Honeysuckle Weeks (Cora) with additional casting to be announced.

Firth commented: “Pre-pandemic I had been preparing the musical for a foreign production which was, of course, then postponed. When the skies cleared and a new production in the UK was proposed, I looked back and thought, ‘This is the version we ought to stage’. The story and songs, a little like the real world, had been thrown in the air and come back slightly different. What we had in our hands lay somewhere between the original play and the original musical and it seemed right for a time when sunlight, optimism and humour seemed more necessary than ever. Like the calendar itself, it seemed that something dark had created something unexpectedly bright.”

Barlow added: “I am delighted to be working on this new production of Calendar Girls and getting ready for the joy, the laughter, and the nostalgia to take the stage again. It’s been 20 years this year since the film was released, and around 10 years since I first saw Tim’s play with my mum Marjorie. We’ve already had a fantastic time in the rehearsal room workshopping the show and weaving in new music, reworked songs and reimagining the book. We cannot wait to see the way these incredible leading ladies bring the story to bloom as we head out on tour later this year.

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