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Judith Street takes over from Michele Dotrice.
Ahead of the official opening of Gary Barlow and Tim Firth's new musical The Girls next week at the Phoenix Theatre it has been announced that understudy Judith Street will make her West End debut at the age of 67 in the role of 'Jessie' owing to Michele Dotrice being diagnosed with acute bronchitis. Dotrice, who has never missed a performance in her career, is unable to perform for the time being leaving Street to officially open in the role.
Speaking today Gary Barlow and Tim Firth said: “Having seen Judith in rehearsals, how lucky we are that an actress such as she will be playing the part of Jessie.”
The Girls is currently in previews at the Phoenix Theatre and opens officially to the press on Tuesday 21 February 2017. Judith Street joins a cast that also includes Debbie Chazen as Ruth, Sophie-Louise Dann as Celia, Claire Machin as Cora, Claire Moore as Chris and Joanna Riding as Annie.
The Girls is based on the true story, the film and the award-winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls. The West End production follows runs at the Grand Theatre Leeds and the Lowry Salford in later 2015. It is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands, and have to date raised almost £5million for Bloodwise. This musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary.
Judith Street's credits include 'Ida Strauss' in Titanic (Charing Cross Theatre, London); 'Miss Prism' in The Importance of Being Ernest (English Speaking Theatre, Hamburg); 'Jack’s Mother' in Into the Woods (Derby Playhouse); 'Mrs Pierce' in My Fair Lady (European tour) and Mrs Halloran in A Catered Affair at London Theatre Workshop.
Directed by Tim Firth, The Girls features musical staging by Lizzi Gee, comedy staging by Jos Houben, design by Robert Jones, lighting design by Tim Lutkin, sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster, it is produced by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and The Shubert Organization.