Grassington Players are not messing about – they already have the hottest ticket in town in the Yorkshire Dales with their production of Calendar Girls: The Musical in September.
It is not the first time they have taken the plunge since they staged a world premiere amateur performance of the original play Calendar Girls in August 2012 and raised more than £5223.56 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
They are, of course, hoping for another success with the musical version which takes place at Grassington’s Town Hall, also known as The Devonshire Institute.
The original Miss January of the WI which started it all, octogenarian Beryl Bamforth, is a long-standing member of Grassington Players. She was 65 when she and her WI friends first disrobed for the original charity nude calendar. More than twenty years on, their fundraising total has reached an amazing £6 million.
Based on the true story of the now world-famous Women’s Institute ladies from neighbouring Rylstone, the musical has evolved from the film and stage play with new characters including the teenage children of the girls.
Take That star, Gary Barlow, is an old schoolfriend of playwright Tim Firth, and so was a natural choice of partner for adding music to his Calendar Girls dramatisation. The musical was born and nurtured in the Dale as Barlow and Firth brought their new cast to Burnsall village hall to perform a pilot version to an invited audience in March 2015, after which the guests – including the ‘real’ Calendar Girls and some members of Grassington Players – were asked to provide feedback on their favourite songs to help shape the final show.
The result is a range of contrasting songs with a good dose of Yorkshire grit and wit, so that comedy counterbalances the tears in this true tale of the heartbreak of cancer and the triumph of female spirit.
The show is due to run from September 25 to October 2 and ticket information is available from 01756 752222 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org