Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Calendar Girls Play Well  Worth Seeing

Theatre Review

By MARCUS BOWER

 Courage, friendship and camaraderie were there for all to see when Calendar Girls opened at The Earl Arts Centre on Wednesday night. Directed by the experienced and respected Stan Gottschalk for Three River Theatre, the play was a warm and generous reworking of Tim Firth's script.

 Adapted from an award-winning film in 2003, Calendar Girls follows the fortunes of a well-meaning group of Yorkshire women who took their kit off in order to raise money for a new sofa in a cancer ward. The women raised more than a few eyebrows, for not only did they become a global phenomenon but they raised millions in revenue.

 Fame and exposed flesh to one side, Firth's script speaks more about the human condition and Gottschalk's ensemble does not let him down in this regard. Putting a few wayward accents to one side, the cast worked the material particularly well and we, as an audience, ultimately cared for them as people. Kerri Gay had the presence and flair to carry off the gregarious Chris with consummate ease, while Ann Campo did a lovely turn as the vivacious Celia. Valerie Tinmouth was truly delightful as Jessie and many in the cast could follow her lead when it came to a clean and sustained Yorkshire accent. Bec Reedman, Amanda Dawes and Bec Geoghegan were strong and secure in their roles, while the rest of the ensemble had their moments on stage.

 Rebecca Phillips, a backstage stalwart of 3RT, maintained the momentum of this extremely busy and prop-driven play, while Flocky Bock must be congratulated for creating the set magic - again.

 Stan Gottschalk's cast and crew have created an engaging, enjoyable and life-affirming production that should be seen. It continues at The Earl Arts Centre until Saturday, September 7.