Calendar Girls (the musical)

Gary Barlow and Tim Firth have joined forces to turn the famous story about a Yorkshire WI into another box office hit as the Film and Play is now also a Musical.

If you've managed to live under a rock for the past few years and don't know what the story is about then I will try not to ruin too much of the surprise but essentially a WI group in Yorkshire want to make a calendar, but not your normal calendar, as it involved them being nude.  At the time this was a ground breaking idea that has since been copied thousands of times to the huge success this original had.

Tim Firth adapted the story for stage and screen previously so it is only fitting that he now turns it into the musical version and joining forces with Gary Barlow was certainly a very clever move as his songs seem familiar yet fresh as the songs tell the story and the orchestrations give a nod to traditional Yorkshire with the focus on brass instruments allowing your mind to think of brass bands.

The cast is one of the best I have seen on stage, and it has some notable stars in it too!  In the second  half of the show the ladies actually shoot the calendar which allows the audience to get very up close and personal with the likes of Ruth Madoc and Denise Welch as they bare all on stage.  This section of the show was done incredibly well.  It had just the right amount of humour and feeling to keep the audience engaged whilst also allowing them to feel the emotions involved in the event.

If I said this show was good, I would be lying.  It is incredible!  The set is very cleverly done to keep drawing you around the different scenes with very little actually changing on stage.  This allow the sunflowers to really take centre stage at the end and also allows you to immerse yourself in the story.  The script tells the story in a funny yet heart warming way and, when coupled with the music will take you on a true rollercoaster of emotions.

I cannot speak highly enough of this show and the story which it tells, I want to see it again and again!

Reviewed by Daniel Keen at the Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent.

Calendar Girls is currently touring the country until 10th August 2019.