Reviewed by Amanda Gazzard
Once in a while a musical comes along and you are left speechless and this was such an occasion!
In 2003 Calendar Girls was released as a film. Based on a true story you were taken on a journey of friendship, love and loss. Over a decade later Gary Barlow and Tim Firth collaborated to write this award-winning musical portrayal of Calendar Girls.
The story is based in Yorkshire with a group of women who all belong to the local WI group in Napley. Following the death of John (Phil Corbitt), his wife Annie (Sarah Jane Buckley) and best friend Chris (Rebecca Storm) decide to release a calendar to raise money to purchase a memorial sofa in the family room at the local hospital. The only twist to this calendar is that each month a WI lady will be in their birthday suit with some strategically placed items. The classic line “I think we need bigger buns” will have you in stiches. The rest of the WI ladies Cora (Sue Devaney), Ruth (Julia Hills), Jessie (Lesley Joseph) and Celia (Lisa Maxwell) all rally together and with a little Dutch courage had by some they all pose for their chosen month.
From the opening scene until the very last act you will be taken on a lyrical journey. Each scene was as good as the last. Every song was sung beautifully, and you could really see the chemistry between the actors. Well done to a brilliant cast who took me along a journey of laughter and a times a few tears.
This is a must see show and you will not be left disappointed.
All the staff at the Cliffs Pavilion was helpful and polite. We were guided to our row with ease and a smile and served our drinks at the interval swiftly and politely, very impressed.
I would rate this performance a well-deserved 5 out of 5.
Tickets cost from £38.50 to £57.50 (booking fees may apply).
Calendar Girls: The Musical is at the Cliffs Pavilion in Southend from 23-27 April 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit southendtheatres.org.uk or call the box office on 01702 351135.
Cliffs Pavilion, Station Road, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, SS0 7RA | 01702 351135