Calendar Girls has finally made it to the stage and no doubt regardless of where you live in the UK, you’ll be seeing amateur dramatics groups putting this new release onto their stages left, right and centre. I’m very proud to say that in the Reading area, Progress Theatre are the first to get in there and the show has now been open for 2 nights. I went along tonight with 2 female friends and I have to say I loved it!
One of the challenges with a play such as this is that one element can easily overshadow the rest of the piece, or at least take too much of a central role. In Calendar Girls, this is of course the nudity…real women actually taking clothes off on stage! Tricky to direct to say the least and I’m sure I’m not too far off the mark in saying it’s tricky to remember to act and not just panic when you’re actually the one doing it. Well I think Progress pulled it off perfectly. We had a good old giggle and they played up the humour in the scene beautifully but it was just 1 small piece of a much larger play and I don’t in any way feel like I “sat through” the rest just for that bit.
A huge array of emotions are conveyed by the various characters throughout the piece and as a member of the audience, I can say I felt all of them. There were some very touching moments when I could feel my throat tightening, something which doesn’t happen too easily to me in a theatre. It wasn’t just me either, the friends I was with also thought the production was fantastic. The casting was spot on, the characters were really believable and part of me wants to go and find myself a WI to join at the grand old age of 26 because I so bought in to the sense of community they were selling!
It’s not by chance that this play has hit the stages of Britain like a tornado, sucking in everyone around it, it’s a really well written play and when theatres such as Progress breathe life into it, it really does become a must see. Ticket sales have been phenomenal but there are a few left so if you haven’t got a ticket yet and you want one, I suggest you hot-foot it over to the Reading Arts website and buy one now. The show runs until Saturday 22nd September so you really have no excuse not to see it unless you’re too slow off the mark with the ticket purchasing!
Much love! x