Calendar Girls get naked

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Review: Calendar Girls

Royal and Derngate Theatre, Northampton

By Alice Dyer

Until Saturday

Tickets: (01604) 624811

ONE minute you’re close to tears, the next laughing out loud.

And that is what makes the legendary Calendar Girls so good.

The cast, including famous faces such as Lynda Bellingham, Jennifer Ellison, Rula Lenska and Bruno Langley, returned to the Derngate stage for a second year running this week as the story based on the original charity strippers continues to go from strength to strength.

When the loveable John (Joe McGann) loses his battle with cancer, the WI girls set about making a nude calendar to raise money for the local hospital.

Cakes, jams, balls of wool, pianos and bags of flour are all strategically placed to preserve their modesty during the photo shoot, which makes for hilarious viewing.

It’s also very clever because they are genuinely naked yet you don’t see a thing.

The play has the perfect mix of emotions - lurching from sad scenes to happy with perfection.

The cast is small and very talented.

The star of the show has to be the wonderful Bellingham who plays the part of loudmouth, loveable Chris.

It’s clear to see that despite performing every day, the cast love it and they all look like they are having great fun on the stage.

I, and the rest of the packed audience, absolutely loved every minute.

The phenomenon of this poignant story seems to be never ending and I can see this production touring for many years to come.