Gary Barlow & Tim Firth
Reality Rating: 5/5
Fidget Factor: 0.1
When Calendar Girls came out on film in 2003, thousands fell in love with this uplifting tale based on a true story. The Girls reignites that love; causing fits of laughter, rounds of applause and several occasions for the audience to sob into their programmes. An emotional tale is told with tenderness, joy and most importantly, bundles of spirit.
When a close friend loses her husband to cancer, Chris comes up with the outrageous idea to raise money for the hospice. Making a Women’s Institute calendar, full of nude older ladies rather than crumbling old churches. The world of plum jam is about to be turned upside down.
Barlow and Firth have created a show which keeps the treasured gems from the original tale, ‘Laurence, we’re going to need considerably bigger buns’ with the additional story line of young love between the ladies sons and daughters. Beautifully crafted, characters and emotions are presented through lyrics and melody. Unlike musicals such as Wicked, where you leave the show singing ‘defying gravity’ at the top of your lungs, The Girls doesn’t leave any tunes circling in our heads. Instead an overwhelming sense of pride and wonder is felt for the original women behind this story and the superb ladies performing it on stage. The perfect balance of a gritty, brilliantly performed story and upbeat, sweet music to accompany it.
The two main ladies, Claire Moore and Joanna Riding are a sensational pairing. They have developed the chemistry on stage which makes it easily believable that they have been friends for fourty years. There is no weak link within this gaggle of girls. Claire Machin performs a rocking, ‘Who wants a silent night’, shimmying and shaking. Full of sass and raunch, Sophie-Louise Dann qualifies with flying colours to pull of the cheeky charm needed to play Celia.
With the focus on the girls it’s easy to neglect the boys. Both James Gaddas and Joe Cafrey both posses a charm as Yorkshire hubbies. The young Josh Benson makes a fun and energetic Tommo, stealing several of the laughs from the night.
The Girls is the perfect show for mothers and daughters, and all the family. This production will lift your spirits and leave you beaming.
Click for Tix: @Pheonix
▦ Photos – Courtesy of Matt Crockett
Time: 2 Hours 35 mins including an interval
Running: 28 JAN 17 ► 22 APR 17
♥ Thank you to Alesya Bolotina for the invite
♥ Thank you to Greg for a truly WI Sunflower