Review: Calendar Girls at the Royal and Derngate, Northampton

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FOLLOWING the success of the film, Calendar Girls on stage was always going to have a lot to live up to.

But this touring version of the heartwarming comedy tale translates perfectly to a live audience.

Based on a true story, it recounts the tale of a group of WI ladies whose lives are inexpicably touched by news that one of their husbands has been diagnosed with leukaemia.

They soon set about raising money for research into the disease by posing for a naked calendar.

The hit show’s current cast is made up of a host of familiar faces including Lynda Bellingham, Rula Lenska, Ruth Madoc, Jennifer Ellison, Jan Harvey and Joe McGann.

Full marks for the slick staging and polished performances from all concerned.

Director Jack Ryder (formerly of Eastenders fame) has given us a sterling interpretation of author Tim Firth’s touching tale.

This funny but poignant production offers a touching tribute to the ladies who put the ‘fun’ back into fundraising.

It is a thoroughly enjoyable night out, but is particularly remarkable when you consider how much money it continues to raise for the very cause which once inspired it.

Review by Sue Eaton.

Calendar Girls is on the stage until Saturday at the Royal and Derngate in Northampton. Tickets cost between £11 and £29.50. To book, call the box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.