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Calendar Girls the Musical at Orchard Theatre, Dartford

By Angela Cole

It’s now more than 20 years since a Yorkshireman named John Baker was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, blood cancer which led his wife Angela to get her Women’s Institute friends to make what they thought would be a light-hearted - and fundraising - nude calendar.

Their story became known worldwide as the Calendar Girls and has been seen by millions on stage and screen.

The musical created by writer Tim Firth and Take That’s Gary Barlow, was originally called The Girls when it premiered in Leeds in 2015.

Calendar Girls the Musical Picture: Matt Crockett
Calendar Girls the Musical Picture: Matt Crockett

The musical comedy’s since undergone a revamp with a new cast, set, extra songs and name change and has wowed audiences at the Marlowe Theatre and it is now at the Orchard Theatre in Dartford.

Gary said: “It’s been an adventure this one, and this was officially the first musical I got involved with. We’ve seen it move audiences so many times. I love it. One thing I’d never experienced was watching my music from an audience. I’d always been the one on the stage.”

But he added: “The people that inspired this show are still alive and they feel very much a part of this show. The most important thread of this show is the believable friendship.”

The true story features a cast that includes Ruth Madoc, Denise Welch, Fern Britton and Faversham-based Anna-Jane Casey.

DETAILS

Calendar Girls: The Musical is at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford from Tuesday, March 5 to Saturday, March 16. To book go to orchardtheatre.co.uk or call 01322 220000.

The Calendar Girls with Gary Barlow
The Calendar Girls with Gary Barlow

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