A film. A play. And now a musical, touring the UK.

Ever since seeing the cast of Calendar Girls The Musical opening the Olivier Awards back in 2018, I have wanted to see this show.

A collaboration between Gary Barlow and Tim Firth brings us an enchanting musical, hitting all the right emotions.

The opening scene brings us all the main characters on stage, for a good Yorkshire sing-a-long of the signature song ‘Yorkshire’, which establishes the enduring nature of growing up in the Dales.

The entire essence of the musical is to show that with a bit of effort and dedication, the usual calm and “old fashioned” way of living can indeed be disrupted. As the opening number states – “The seasons come and go and yesterdays don’t change”.

With the likes of Lesley Joseph and Lisa Maxwell heading up the excellent line up of cast, one would never have thought that the current cast only took to the stage a week ago. Upsettingly, Ruth Madock was meant to be playing the role of Jessie, however due to an injury sustained in rehearsals, she is currently not touring and will return to the show during August. Jessie is in very safe hands with Joseph.

One of the highlights was Sarah Jane Buckley’s portrayal of Annie. Her heart-warming rendition of ‘Kilimanjaro’ will certainly stay with me for a long time.

The success of this show lays in the simple nature of the story, which brings people of all ages together. You will certainly leave the theatre wanting more, and singing “one more year in Yorkshire” over and over in your head.

The whole production worked – from the lighting, to the simple staging and to those subtle instances of feeling. In particular, the passing of John Clarke oozed so much emotion whilst also keeping the humour. The empty wheelchair being rolled off the stage was a subtle yet effective way of portraying his passing – excellent!

Who would have thought that a show with women getting involved in a nude calendar would touch so many emotions and promote female empowerment? Certainly I did not.

The show is playing at the Wales Millennium Centre until 11 May 2019.

Get your tickets here now


Article By Dan Ellis

Published by VALLEY TIMES

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