AS A fan of Oswestry’s Attfield Theatre Company I do try to and see as many of their plays as possible but I have to say their current production of Calendar Girls is one of the best I have seen by far.
A stellar cast delivered this well known true story of a Women’s Institute in Yorkshire posing nude with their modesty covered by W.I like items i.e jars of marmalade to raise money in aid of a member’s husband who dies from leaukemia.
Tim Firth’s play was beautifully performed by the cast and I think I went through every emotion in my arsenal as I laughed and cried at the conflicts and prejudices the women battle with to make sure they raise enough cash for a couch in the cancer unit’s waiting room.
The whole production was excellent but it was marvellous to see April Ryder back at the Attfield as the snobby W.I chairman Mari ably supported by her real life Mum Christine Hughes as the lady of the manor.
I was also impressed with Susannah Smith as the sultry Celia who had no qualms about baring all!
Debbie Glenn’s portrayal of Annie, whose husband John dies, was poignant and tugs at your heart strings. Her timing and expression is spot on.
In fact it was easy to connect with all the ladies of the W.I and their different reasons for joining the "Jam and Jerusalem” gang.
As a first timer I think Debra Collings did a fabulous job in the director’s chair making good use of the staging and the excitement surrounding the “big strip” scene- and yes they actually do bare flesh, but all in the best possible taste and with much hilarity.
But it was not all jolly japes and to me the play carried across the message of how cruel and devastating cancer can be.
The production is also raising money for leaukemia research with actual calendars of the cast available for £10 and cakes being sold in the interval too.
The play runs until Saturday night and tickets are scarce but justifiable so.
To try and see this production call the box office on 01691 680222.