Plymouth amateur dramatic group to perform Calendar Girls
A SAUCY, sometimes sad and yet uplifting play about the Womens' Institute, cancer and nudity is to get an outing in Plymouth next year.
Thanks to an agreement to allow amateur dramatics companies across the UK perform the heart-warming Calendar Girls, Plymouth's own Tamaritan Theatre Company will be putting on their show at The Drum Theatre some time in late January into early February.
Maggie Clinton, chairman of the company and wardrobe mistress for the theatre group, said recent auditions successfully found actresses from within the group and as well as new amateurs who were willing to take on the challenging roles.
Maggie said: "We had a good number come along and had to disappoint some people. We've got a mix of ages of actresses for the roles, just like the WI."
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The play and film Calendar Girls is based on the true story of a Yorkshire WI.
When one of the members' husbands was struck down with leukaemia the group decided to do a calendar to raise funds for a cancer charity.
The "naked" calendar became a hit and media attention from around the world turned the group into stars.
A film, starring Victoria Wood and Helen Mirren followed along with a specially adapted stage play which has starred a host of big name actresses.
Maggie said: "The actual scene where the women take off their clothes is a very, very short scene and nobody should see anything. There's a lot of clever covering up."
As wardrobe mistress, Maggie said there was a surprising amount of clothing to sort for a play about nudity.
She said: "The play – which was adapted by the screenwriter – is mainly set in the village hall, except for just two scenes. You see them at the hall on different days over time so there are lots of scenes where they have to wear different clothes. There's even people dressed up in silly costumes, like a rabbit or Father Christmas!
"The licence for the play has been released for amateur groups to do for just over a year, from September this year to February 2014. Hundreds of local groups across the country have applied and some of the money to get the licence will be going towards funding leukaemia research. It's a good way of raising money for the charity."
Ironically, none of the Tamaritans are members of the Women's Institute, but Maggie admits "it's been a bit of an insight into the WI".
Exact dates have yet to be set but there will be a six-day run, from a Tuesday to Saturday at the Drum Theatre with a matinee on the Saturday.