Date draws near for Calendar girls

Stannington Players: The Calendar Girls
Stannington Players: The Calendar Girls
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WITH a flood of amateur groups applying for the rights to perform Calendar Girls, the covers are almost off two South Yorkshire productions.

The heart-warming story, following the daring charity efforts of the ladies of Rylstone & District Women’s Institute, opens with a gala performance on Saturday in aid of Barnsley Hospice. And on Wednesday Stannington Players begin a four-night run at Lomas Church Hall.

It seems there were no shortage of women keen to throw their naked ambition at Tim Firth’s play for LS Theatre Productions at The Academy, Barnsley.

Director Lee Semley admits he was blown away by the number of women keen to get involved in a show that has toured professionally several times since the hit 2003 film.

“In retrospect this was an opportunity to be involved in Calendar Girls so maybe I was being naive thinking we wouldn’t get an interest,” he says. “The play resonates with women, especially Yorkshire women”

In his casting, Lee says he wasn’t seeking ‘actresses’, but ‘real’ Yorkshire women, who also feature in a calendar on sale at performances.

The county premiere at Barnsley’s Academy Theatre has a two-week run until September 15 with a percentage of royalties bound for the Leukaemia Research Fund, the charity that inspired the original Calendar Girls to make their nude calendar.

Tickets from the box office on 01226 744442.

The Players, meanwhile, will raise money for Weston Park Hospital’s leukaemia research as the first amateur group in Sheffield to produce this challenging work.

Tickets £6/£5 from 0114 2342176 and stanningtonplayers.org.uk