Calendar Girls tells the real life story of a group of ordinary women who did something extraordinary.
But this week, the Haslemere Players have brought the story to life with enough iced buns to feed all of Haslemere.
I was invited to review the Players’ dress rehearsal and even though it was their first full run-through, they didn’t have any mics and were navigating a stage full of props for the first time, I was blown away.
The play follows a group of women from the Women’s Institute in Yorkshire who come together to create a nude calendar to raise money for a new couch for the hospital waiting room.
It showcases the power of women whose relationships are a mirror to the women in our own lives: they are our sisters, mothers, friends. They are real, and so are the actors who play them.
Watching the play, I could tell what a transformative experience it was for all those involved. Helen Andrews plays Annie Clarke, the widow of John who is the catalyst for the entire story. Helen said working on Calendar Girls was an incredibly “uplifting and empowering experience”.
Like many, Helen has had her own encounter with cancer, making her character’s story even more touching.
Alexandra Boughton is usually up on the stage herself, but not this time. Calendar Girls is her first time directing for the Players – and what a debut. Unlike normal theatre productions, there are no scene changes. Instead Alexandra has weaved together a seamless journey of love and loss that will leave you crying and laughing in equal measure.
So why not step from the Surrey Hills to the Yorkshire Hills? The play is running from today to Saturday (October 28). Tickets from £12 can be bought here.
A calendar of the cast is also on sale with 50 per cent of proceeds going to the Fountain Centre cancer charity.