Calendar Girls the Musical hits the stage in Lytham - and St Anne's Parish Operatic Society want Gary Barlow to see it

The heart-warming musical Calendar Girls takes to the stage this week for the first time ever on the Fylde Coast.

By Claire Lark
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 3:45 pm

Laced with fabulous Gary Barlow songs, the show is a real coup for St Anne’s Parish Operatic Society as it has only just been released for amateur production.

And the producers are so confident they will do the musical justice that they have even personally invited Gary Barlow himself.

Not to be confused with the play, this is the musical version and like the original film it’s based on the true story of the members of the Rylstone Women’s Institute and their infamous topless charity calendar.

From left - Paula Curtis as Celia, Sarah Jane Stone as Chris, Mandy Hall-Laird as Ruth in the forthcoming SAPOS production of Calendar Girls the Musical. Photos: Phil Downie Photography

Just as they did, some of the cast will be bravely baring all – but of course with total propriety and the audience will only see what they are meant to see.

Written by Tim Firth and the songs by Gary Barlow, this is the latest incarnation of the Calendar Girls franchise, and takes the story to a new level.

The main themes of love, loss and friendship are the same but in this version it tells the story from the viewpoint of the husbands and children of the main characters.

It all combines to pack a real emotional punch, with some very powerful messages. Be prepared to laugh, cry … and come out feeling both uplifted and emotionally drained at the same time.

From left, Geraldine Brown as Cora, Paula Curtis as Celia, Sarah Jane Stone as Chris, Pauline Hardie as Annie, Mandy Hall-Laird as Ruth, Joan Aitchison as Jessie, in the forthcoming SAPOS production of Calendar Girls at the Lowther Pavlion.

A proportion of the proceeds from the show goes to support Blood Cancer UK.

Director Rosie Withers said: “The nudity is done with subtlety and discretion, and, although it tends to be what everyone hears about, it is definitely not the most important part of this production. In essence, it’s a show about love. The characters range from the angst-ridden teenagers negotiating the agonies of first love, to the elderly couple who delight in completing the daily crossword - and each others’ sentences. And weaving them all together is the theme of what happens when you lose the love of your life. It is also a story about friendship, empowerment and how amazing things can happen when ordinary people do something extraordinary.”

It runs from tomorrow (20th) until Saturday July 23 at 7.30pm each night at Lowther Pavilion with a Saturday matinee at 2pm.