These days it is difficult to move without semi-naked people smiling down from the walls in ‘a good cause’ and hard to remember the innovation, spark and courage these WI ladies flaunted.
This feel-good play celebrates the achievement of those ‘ladies of a certain age’.
The large and supportive audience were roundly entertained by a performance carried off with gusto and commitment by members of the cast, who were clearly enjoying the challenge, whileAndrew Moger’s performance as John Clark was convincing, moving and, sadly, in more ways than one, short-lived.
It is well-documented that there are few quality roles for women to perform as they get older; this play presents a terrific opportunity to shine and is packed with witty one liners ‘a fascinating talk on the history of the tea towel’ and ‘if more people did WI there would be less need for hallucinogenic drugs’, making gentle and affectionate fun.
Through the passing seasons in the Dales, we see the true value of WI friendship, solidarity together with a smattering of healthy rivalry.
The play at times feels a little claustrophobic, set largely in the village hall in which you can feel the frustration for some members of this small community.
The floating down of thank you letters was deeply moving and, no doubt, did much to push up sales of this production’s own charity calendar, supporting leukaemia research and the Playhouse. Buy one now and catch this great piece.
By Gail Waddington
Calendar Girls is at Halifax Playhouse at 7.30pm tonight until Saturday, plus a matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.