Nude calendars may be commonplace now with everyone from firefighters to rugby players and even Canadian authors baring it all over the years to help raise charitable funds.
But they can all trace their origin to a group of Yorkshire women from the local Women’s Insitute who in 1999 posed for such a calendar to raise funds for Leukaemia research.
Turned into a film in 2003, the story of those original Calendar Girls would eventually be adapted for the stage play in 2008. It is the latest comedy to hit Neptune Theatre’s Fountain Hall stage.
“This treasure of a play is filled with massive heart, tremendous humour, gentle pathos and is the ultimate in female bonding, says actor Martha Irving who plays Chris, one of two friends who champion the calendar in a media release. “[It is] the perfect antidote to winter.”
Featuring a cast of nine veteran female actors (and three men), for Shelley Thompson, who plays the other half of the friends, it is a story of female empowerment, friendship and solidarity that is needed right now.
“The predominantly female team has meant a safe and comfortable workspace, and rehearsals have been a blast,” says Thompson in the release. “We need our girlfriends these days, and I feel sure that this production – created in a safe and considerate space – will bring our joy and glee to the Neptune audience.”
Halifax Presents contributing editor Mark Robins was live at Neptune Theatre as the company of Calendar Girls prepared for opening night.
In this Facebook Live event, he chats with both Irving and Thompson, along with director Jeremey Webb to find out more.
Calendar Girls continues at Neptune Theatre’s Fountain Hall (1593 Argyle St, Halifax) until March 29. Visit neptunetheatre.com for tickets and information.