Ely Ladies Strip For 'Calendar Girls'
By elypeople | Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 20:43
The ladies of Ely will be taking their clothes off on a nightly basis when Ely Amateur Dramatic Society unveils its production of 'Calendar Girls', the story that launched a host of nude calendars. In doing so, ADS will be among the first amateur groups in the country to perform the much loved play.
The ladies of Ely Amateur Dramatic Society prepare for 'Calendar Girls'
Local actress Gilly Lancaster prepares for 'Calendar Girls'
The poster for Ely Amateur Dramatic Society's production of 'Calendar Girls'
A very British story with a truly British heart, 'Calendar Girls' is an uplifting comic play inspired by the tale of the Rylstone and District Women's Institute, who stripped for a calendar in 1998 to raise money for a non-Hodgkins lymphoma charity. They were moved to do so following the death from the disease of the husband of one of the group members.
Says Ely ADS director Nigel Murfitt: "It doesn't sound like the kind of story that could possibly leave an audience smiling, but it is a heart-warming and funny play that will touch everyone who sees it."
Based on the 2003 film starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, the play was adapted for the stage by Tim Firth and first produced in 2009 with a cast that included Lynda Bellingham, Patricia Hodge and Siân Phillips. But although it has been a constant touring attraction ever since, it has only just been made available to amateur groups – meaning that ADS will be among the first drama groups in the country to perform the play when its Ely production opens at Needham's Hall on October 31, 2012.
"The amateur rights were only released on September 1 this year and we applied to do it as soon as it became available," explains director Nigel Murfitt.
"It's a great honour to be performing the play because we are following in the footsteps of a host of talented actresses who have performed this professionally. To be among the first groups to produce the play on the amateur stage is a thrilling achievement for the company."
The cast includes many stalwarts of Ely ADS, including Ann Dix and Gilly Lancaster, plus Steph Hamer, Alex Priestley, Suzanne Emerson, Helen Williamson, Susan Howell, Susan Harrison and Carla Curtis. But, to drop into the language of another popular British film of the era, do they do the full monty?
"You'll have to come along to see," teases Nigel Murfitt.
Ely ADS will be staging 'Calendar Girls' from October 31 to November 3, 2012. Tickets priced £8 are available from Burrows Bookshop.