Sheer Naked Enjoyment
Well this was the first time in a very long time that I found myself in a room full of people on what we used to call ‘a night out’ and I am delighted to say that it was a damned good night out enjoyed by a large and enthusiastic crowd.
Produced by the Vision Theatre Company, Calendar Girls – The Musical written by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth and directed by Drew Bake and Clive Raymond (musical director) is a hoot. I am only sorry that my review might come a little late for more of you to go and find out for yourselves because on Thursday night the Queens Hall, Narberth, was buzzing with the sheer joy of it all.
You know the story I assume…The Womens Institute, known for cake baking and hymn singing, breaks with tradition in a small Yorkshire Town, where a particular group decide to create a calendar in honour of the husband of one of their number who has died of cancer. But of course this is not to be any ordinary calendar. The ladies, breaking with the sometimes stuffy image of the organisation, decide it will be a nude calendar and set out to break all the rules.
The plot is moving and thoughtful, uplifting and hilarious. The singing is superb, the music, if a little loud for my taste at the beginning, quickly settled into a great accompaniment. Acting was professional and delightful with some lovely relationships outlined simply and some fabulous characters explored.
Some tender moments touched us all. A courageous battle with cancer and a loving wife’s support were beautifully portrayed. I also loved the relationship between the flower sellers, and the young people were delightful.
I am loathe to single anyone out. I just want to urge you to go for the sheer joy of the music, for the skill and enthusiasm of the cast, for stand-up rows and personal crisis, not to mention the very well managed nudity.
The audience on opening night howled with laughter, sighed with compassion and applauded with great gusto. I only wish it were on for a longer run, but you might just get a late ticket if you act quickly.
And I believe the proceeds are going to Paul Sartori Hospice at Home.
If you want to see the matinee today, Saturday 6 November, or an evening performance act now or miss out on a real treat.