BrumHour was invited to the press and media night of
Calendar Girls by Birmingham Hippodrome.
Please note this post contains affiliate links.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
This production contains strong language and nudity.
Calendar Girls The Musical
at Birmingham Hippodrome
Written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, Directed by Matt Ryan
With its rolling hill set complete with stone walls and a wooden gate you’d never be able to tell Calendar Girls is set in Yorkshire so luckily they make 50 or 60 references to it! Yes, the hit musical Calendar Girls has arrived on the huge Birmingham Hippodrome stage until 8th June.
After Annie’s (Sarah Jane Buckley) husband John (Phil Corbitt) passes away from leukaemia, her friend Chris (Rebecca Storm) suggests raising some money to buy a sofa for the visitors lounge at the hospital that treated John.
Chris enlists the help of her and Annie’s friends at the local Women’s Institute to organise create charity calendar. Their friends include local vicar’s daughter Cora (Sue Devaney), retired teacher Jessie (Lesley Joseph), Celia (Lisa Maxwell) and much more reluctant friend Ruth (Julia Hills).
This is a hugely heartwarming musical comedy drama that shows even after the most difficult of situations that life goes on.
I found these characters (based on a true story – turned into a film which was turned into a play and is now a musical with lyrics by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth) warm, realistic and funny, rather than being about working class northern life this covers women of all backgrounds in a this small Yorkshire town.
In terms of plot there isn’t really a lot to understand, as its about a story so famous that much of the story is about Annie and John’s life together interwoven with those around Annie and they challenge both of them face head on.
This is set fairly recently as the ladies pose for selfies on smartphones and the younger actors “floss” on stage (You know flossing right? Ask your kids.)
The audience certainly loved it, they applauded the characters and the chemistry between the leading ladies is undeniable as their characters pose for the calendar photographs. My favourite actors were Lisa Maxwell and Sue Devaney and of course Lesley Joseph, but this is very much an ensemble story.
You’d be hard pushed to find a more positive, optimistic life-affirming show so make sure you see this before 8th June at Birmingham Hippodrome. Book tickets tickets to Calendar Girls here: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/calendar-girls-musical
Tour Dates continue at:
King’s Theatre, Glasgow 11th to 22nd June: Book tickets with BrumHour’s affiliate link here.
Nottingham Theatre Royal 25th June to 6th July: trch.co.uk/whats-on/calendar-girls-the-musical
Bristol Hippodrome 9th to 20th July: Book tickets with BrumHour’s affiliate link here.
Plymouth Theatre Royal 23rd July to 3rd August: theatreroyal.com/whats-on/2019/calendar-girls-the-musical
Eastbourne Congress 6th to 10th August: eastbournetheatres.co.uk/events/calendar-girls-musical
Bournemouth Pavilion 17th to 21st September: bournemouthpavilion.co.uk/whats-on/calendar-girls-2019
Wolverhampton Grand 24th to 28th September: grandtheatre.co.uk/whats-on/calendar-girls-the-musical
New Wimbledon Theatre 1st to 5th October: Book tickets with BrumHour’s affiliate link here.
Royal and Derngate Theatre, Northampton 8th to 12th October: royalandderngate.co.uk/whats-on/calendar-girls
Winter Gardens Blackpool 15th to 19th October: wintergardensblackpool.co.uk/whats-on/calendar-girls-the-musical
Storyhouse, Chester 29th October to 2nd November: storyhouse.com/event/calendar-girls
Theatre Royal, Bath 5th to 9th November: theatreroyal.org.uk/event/calendar-girls
This isn’t a sponsored post.
When not writing about theatre for BrumHour, or producing Interval Theatre for Brum Radio (Tuesdays 3pm) brumradio.com/intervaltheatre,
Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and claiming to be at the gym. And tweeting about Birmingham for #BrumHour.