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18/09/2020

Review: Make a date with the Calendar Girls


Can you take a movie script and adapt it to the stage? Furthermore can you take a London-based stage show and tour it at theatres around the country? In the case of Calendar Girls the answer is a resounding “Yes”.

Most will be familiar with the story of the ladies of a WI group who removed their clothes for a calendar to raise money to buy a settee in a hospital waiting room, only to earn worldwide fame and raise millions. But if you know the story or not an evening spent in the company of the Calendar Girls is an evening that is not wasted.

The current touring cast includes Linda Bellingham, well-known as a face on the daily “Loose Women” tv show, but here proving, lest we have forgotten that she is a very talented actress. The rest of the “girls” include Jan Harvey, Ruth Madoc and Rula Lenska. This a story of women, so the men are in short supply but where they do appear are equally strong characters, Joe McGann gives a moving performance as John.

Touring nationally, go see it, you will laugh and cry but most of all you will enjoy!

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Calendar Girls the movie was a surprise world-wide hit when it was realised in 2003. With a screen play by Colin Firth and starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters.

Based on a the true story of a wife who’s husband dies from leukaemia at an early age and her close friend who together are anxious to purchase a comfortable sofa for the visitors lounge in the hospital where he was treated, and how they hit upon the idea of printing a calendar featuring some of the members of the Knapely chapter of the Women’s Institute discreetly posing nude while engaged in everyday activities, such as baking and knitting, in order to raise funds.

In April 2009 the story was adapted for a stage show and like the calendar hasn’t looked back since. It has become the fastest selling tour ever and has triumphed in the West End. Now, comes to Ipswich Regent as part of its final ever tour starring Lynda Bellingham, Debbie Chazen, Camilla Dallerup, Jennifer Ellison, Jan Harvey, Rula Lenska, June Watson and Ruth Madoc with Bruno Langley as Lawrence the photographer and Joe McGann as John.

A group of ordinary women do something extraordinary and spark a global phenomenon when they persuade one another to pose for a charity calendar with a difference! Based on an inspiring true story, Calendar Girls is quirky, poignant and hilarious.

Calendar Girls has sold out in every theatre it’s visited before opening. Don’t miss out and book today for the show the Mail on Sunday said is “Marvellous theatre, guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and come out singing Jerusalem!”

• Ipswich Regent, 7th-12th November, 2011. Box Office 01473 433100

Note: This show is suitable for all ages. However under 14s must be accompanied by an adult


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