Calendar Girls. Picture: Robert Yardley
Calendar Girls. Picture: Robert Yardley

THE true story of the Yorkshire WI members, who created a nude calendar for charity is beautifully recreated by Lichfield Operatic Society at the Garrick this week.

Calendar Girls has just about everything – brilliant performances by the large cast and an excellent production team, which provided us with what can only be described as spectacular entertainment.

The musical by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth was given top-notch treatment by the company, proof of which was the appreciative applause throughout and a standing ovation at the end.

Six women headed the cast – Kate Pilling as Annie and Dawn Welch as Chris, were simply brilliant as the leaders of the group, ably supported throughout by Heather Bustin as Cora, Lynne Hill as Jessie, Natalie Whittlesey as Celia and Rebecca Bowley as Ruth.

The six very tastefully ‘bared all’ as they recreated the story of the WI members who started out raising money for a settee in a hospital and ended achieving millions for cancer charities.

This was a true ensemble piece with every member of the large cast contributing to the story and consequently the enjoyment of the audience.

On the male side of the cast I particularly enjoyed James Pugh as John, the husband who died and to whom the calendar was dedicated. Ethan Bowley as Danny, one of the children, gave a particularly memorable performance.

Congratulations to everyone concerned in this spectacular production, including Director Adam Lacey, Musical Director David Easto and Choreographer Charlotte Jervis.

If you can get tickets, the show runs until Saturday (6th July). I’d thoroughly recommend it.

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