Thu 4 Oct 2018
On Tuesday, I went to see Calendar Girls The Musical at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh and it was fabulous!
Set in Yorkshire, it’s based on the real-life story of a group of women in the WI, who make a nude calendar in memory of a friend and go on to make a shed load of money for cancer charity Bloodwise. It’s such a touching story about something amazing that came out of something terrible. And it’s really funny too!
Tim Firth (writer of Calendar Girls the film and the play) and Gary Barlow (singer-songwriter and Take That superstar) have been friends for years. They wrote this musical version of Calendar Girls together.
This production stars Anna-Jane Casey, Rebecca Storm, Denise Welch, Karen Dunbar, Sara Crowe and Ruth Madoc as the Calendar Girls. Also, Fern Britton plays the disapproving WI leader. They were all strong performances and the supporting cast were great too. The girls were so brave getting their kit off on stage. That bit was done really well. My sister is a prop-maker and she helped to make many of the props on stage, including loads of cakes and a giant cracker! So, obviously, I thought the props were especially brilliant. (They really were!).
To this day, the Calendar Girls are still making money for Bloodwise, as the charity receives a royalty from the musical. There are also bucket collections at the end of each performance. Their original aim was to buy a sofa for the hospital where their friend was treated, but so far they have raised about 5 million pounds. What a remarkable achievement!
I absolutely loved this show. I laughed and cried. The songs are catchy and I find my self singing “One more year in Yorkshire” as I write this. I’m a Yorkshire lass myself, so perhaps that’s why it stuck in my head. Calendar Girls The Musical on in Edinburgh until 13th October.