Barnsley girls grin and bare it for nude calendar

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THESE amateur actresses are following in the footsteps of the original Calendar Girls - stripping off as fearless fundraisers as well as getting ready to tread the boards.

Women from Barnsley-based LS Theatre Productions are busy rehearsing for one of several South Yorkshire stagings of the classic play Calendar Girls this autumn.

The amateur rights for the play have been released from September for just 18 months - sparking a flurry of am-dram shows nationwide.

But what sets the Barnsley bunch apart is that not only are the women putting on the play, they’re producing a nude calendar too - just like the original women from the Rylstone and District WI.

All proceeds will go to Weston Park Hospital in Sheffield.

Barnsley actor Lee Semley, who directed the photoshoot, said: “When I approached them with the idea of producing a nude calendar they were hesitant at first. But after several cups of tea and a Victoria sponge I’d won them round!

“We had a fantastic day photographing the ladies and the shots look stunning. This is a calendar celebrating real women.”

Lee’s mum Janet Semley was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1983 aged just 34. Following surgery and daily radiotherapy at Weston Park, she made a full recovery.

Janet, now 63, said: “I am so proud of Lee for organising this calendar and raising funds for a worthwhile cause.

“It is lovely after all these years to finally give something back - I will be first in the queue to buy one of the calendars.”

The women take to the stage at The Academy Theatre Birdwell from September 1 to 15. Tickets are on sale from the theatre box office - 01226 744 442.

The calendars will be on sale from the theatre foyer before each performance.

n See The Star on Monday for another group of girls getting ready to bare all for Sheffield’s first amateur version of the play.