Calendar Girls by Tim Firth, Belgrade, Coventry, till 20th October


The Belgrade Theatre, Coventry
Calendar Girls by Tim Firth
Belgrade Theatre: Tkts 024 7655 3055
Runs: 2h, 30m: one interval: till 20th October 2012
Start: 7.45
Review: Jan Pick

"The flowers of Yorkshire……”
Calendar Girls – the heart warming, poignant, and very funny film about a group of Yorkshire women and their Womens’ Institute calendar – leapt into the public consciousness in 2003, when it was released to great acclaim. Tim Firth has adapted his screenplay brilliantly for the stage and produced a theatrical smash hit. This is a play that brings tears to the eyes, both of sorrow and of laughter. Born out of a real life tragedy, the story follows the ladies of the local Women’s Institute and their decision to raise money for a new sofa in the local hospital waiting room in memory of Annie’s husband, John, by posing for a Pirelli-style WI calendar, showing the ladies in traditional WI activities, but nude.

Bruce McGregor is excellent as John, delivering his lines with just the right touch of dry wit, yet occasionally allowing a glimpse of his emotional pain, as we follow his rapid decline through cancer. The ladies work as a true ensemble, with a great on stage rapport. Lesley Joseph and Sue Holderness particularly, are on great form as Chris and Annie, and Kacey Ainsworth shows the gradual blossoming of the shy, eager to please Ruth, with delicate skill.

The play is directed with a sure touch by Jack Ryder, with sensitive lighting by Tim Lutkin and a clever and evocative set design from Robert Jones.

If ever an answer was needed to the question, “Why make a play from a successful film?” go along to see the stage production of “Calendar Girls” currently at the Belgrade as part of its nationwide tour, and find out!

Cora: Deena Payne
Chris: Lesley Joseph
Annie: Sue Holderness
Jessie: Helen Fraser
Celia: Kathryn Rooney
Ruth: Kacey Ainsworth
Marie: Ruth Madoc
Brenda Hulse/Lady Cravenshire: Susan Bovell
John: Bruce McGregor
Rod: Robert Gill
Lawrence/Liam: Kevin Sacre
Elaine: Camilla Dallerup

Director: Jack Ryder
Designer: Robert Jones
Costume Designer: Jack Galloway
Lighting Designer: Tim Lutkin
Composer and Music Arrangement: Steve Parry
Sound Designer: John Leonard
Associate Sound Designer: Andrea Cox
Assistant Director: Kevin Sacre
Production Manager/Technical Stage Manager: Martin Rosewall
Deputy Stage Manager: Emma Smith
Assistant Stage Manager: Sophie Cable
Wardrobe Mistress: Nikki Lightfoot
Assistant to Jack Ryder: Beatrice King

Original Production Directed by: Hamish McColl

2012-10-21 15:57:50

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