New cast in Calendar Girls from 28 July 2009

New cast in Calendar Girls from 28 July 2009

A new cast will take over in Calendar Girls, at the Noel Coward Theatre from 28 July to 17 Oct 2009: Gemma Atkinson (Elaine), Jill Baker (Annie), EastEnders' June Brown (Jessie), Richenda Carey (Marie), Sara Crowe (Ruth), Anita Dobson (Chris), Jill Halfpenny (Cora), Jerry Hall (Celia). Jack Ryder will play the photographer Lawrence.

The current cast to 25 July 2009 includes Lynda Bellingham, Patricia Hodge, Sian Phillips, Gaynor Faye, Brigit Forsyth, Julia Hills, Elaine C Smith, Joan Blackham, Abby Francis, Gary Lilburn, Gerard McDermot , Carl Prekopp.

Calendar Girls has also extended 4 months and is now taking books to 23 Jan 2010.

The new stage play by Tim Firth, adapted from his own screenplay for the 2003 film, opened at the Noel Coward Theatre to luke-warm notices from the popular press: THE EVENING STANDARD says, " Heavy-handed production." THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "As an evening of theatre this really is, well, pants." THE TIMES says, " It’s snappily directed by Hamish McColl." THE GUARDIAN says, "Moderately entertaining."

It is directed by Hamish McColl, designed by Robert Jones, lighting by Malcolm Rippeth, costumes by Emma Williams and music by Steve Parry.

It is produced by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers in association with Chichester Festival Theatre.

At First Glance it should look like your classic WI Calendar. Jams, cakes, sewing and all that. Except for one tiny thing…the ladies aren’t naked, they’re nude. A group of extraordinary women, members of a very ordinary Yorkshire WI, persuade one another to pose for a charity calendar with a difference! Overcoming their initial reserve, the friends drop their dressing gowns, modesty spared only by artfully placed cakes, knitting and flower arrangements. Puzzling their husbands, mortifying their children, and riding the wrath of the outraged WI, they spark a global phenomenon. As interest snowballs, the CALENDAR GIRLS find themselves revealing more than they’d ever planned.

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