St Annes Parish Operatic Society ladies show bare ambition for first Fylde coast performance of Calendar Girls the Musical

An operatic society based in St Annes will be the first on the Fylde coast to perform Calendar Girls the Musical.

By Richard Hunt
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 6:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th May 2022, 6:21 pm

St Annes Parish Operatic Society (SAPOS) will stage the heart-warming show, which features songs by Gary Barlow, at Lytham’s Lowther Pavilion in July.

Like the smash hit Calendar Girls film from 2003, starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, the show is based on real life Rylstone Women's Institute members in Yorkshire who decided to make a nude calendar to raise funds for Leukaemia Research after the heartbreaking death of one of their husbands.

The film’s uplifting story, about ordinary women doing an extraordinary thing and becoming a global phenomenon, was such a hit it was turned into a successful stage play and, in 2017, an award-winning musical.

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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

Now the performing rights of the musical have been released to non-professional groups, and SAPOS are keen to perform the show for Fylde coast audiences.

The SAPOS ladies will be bravely shedding their clothes at one point in the show, although it will be tastefully done with no actual nudity on stage!

They are even making a special calendar of their own – also tastefully done – with funds being raised for Macmillan Cancer Support.

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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 spokesman for SAPOS, said: “This musical has only recently been released for amateur production and it is a huge show and a big coup for us, Lowther and Lytham St Annes in general as we will be the first society to put it on in the Fylde coast area.

"It’s a wonderful show and we’re all excited to be able to perform it.

"We’ve had to get special permission from the agents to do the calendar and the photo shoot will be taking place soon.”

The musical, being staged under the guidance of skilful director Rosie Withers and Musical Director in Catherine Stevenson, will also be a special occasion as it will be the society’s 50th anniversary show, postponed from 2020 because of Covid.

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.

Calendar Girls the Musical, with music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and book by Tim Firth, is being performed at the Lowther Pavilion from Wednesday July 20 to Saturday July 23 at 7.30pm each night, in addition to a Saturday matinee at 2pm.

Tickets are available from the Lowther Pavilion website and box office on (01253) 794221.