Am dram group gets kit off for a daring new production
STARRING in the spotlight fully clothed may be daunting enough for most people, but a group of budding actors will be taking to the stage with just props to hide their modesty.
The performers have also made their own calendar and Kate Northcott, who plays Ruth, said they helped each other get over the nerves of baring all.
“It’s one of those things where it’s not a group of 20-year-old perfect bodied women. That is the whole point of it. It is to show off the female figure for a good cause,” said Kate, of Haydon Wick .
“Doing the photoshoot took those barriers down, but we have now got to do it in front of an audience full of people. We have done so much rehearsing and our director is conscious of making people comfortable so we know our props will be in the right place.”
Calendar Girls is based on a group of Yorkshire Women’s Institute members who persuade one another to pose for a charity calendar with a difference.
The original calendar was dedicated to John Baker, the husband of one of the woman, who died of leukaemia in 1998.
The calendar has helped raise more than £1.5m, and the story has led to a movie, starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, and the hit stage show.
To get in to the spirit of the piece and understand what the ladies went through, the cast have posed for their own calendar which they will sell during the performances.
A third of proceeds from the show will be donated to Leukaemia Research, as well as Help for Heroes in support of the Royal Military College, in Shrivenham, where the cast will perform in their second week.
Kate, who is also assistant director, said: “Most people have been affected by cancer in one way or another throughout our lives. This show is touching, poignant and hilarious.
“It is a brilliantly written script that has touched the hearts of all involved.”
Director Barry Austin, of Royal Wootton Bassett, said: “Directing has been quite a challenge. We have got to work with the women to build their confidence up. “They are using oranges, balls of wool, flowers, buns and a teacup and milk jug! If the audience can see anything then we have failed because that is not what the show is about.”
Calendar Girls will be at Wootton Bassett Memorial Hall on September 7 and 8, Royal Military College on September 13 and 14, and The Barn Theatre, in Cirencester, on September 21 and 22.
Tickets for the performances, which start at 7.30pm, are £10.
Call 0844 8 700 887 or visit www.theatreink.co.uk. For Shrivenham performances call 01793 785942.