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Calendar Girls @ Limelight Theatre

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by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at:
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These are ordinary women in an extraordinary play
In 1998 John Baker died from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at the age of 54. His wife, Angela, and some of her friends in the Women's Institute began to raise money, initially with the aim of purchasing a sofa for the visitors' lounge in the hospital where John was treated.

Calendar Girls
Loz Haynes, Sue Mainwaring, Gwen Browning, Michelle Varley, Jo Brigham and Clare Fazackerley Wood are appearing in Calendar Girls this August

They decided that more money could be raised by printing a calendar featuring some of the members of the Women's Institute discreetly posing nude while engaged in everyday activities, such as baking and knitting, in order to raise funds.

Nothing could have prepared them for the way their original calendar took off. To date they have raised over 3 million for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

In 2003 the story was adapted and made into a comedy film starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, winning numerous awards, and adapted for stage in 2008.

And now this fabulous play has come to Limelight Theatre directed by Robert Benson-Parry who describes Calendar Girls as a modern and worthwhile play. "It has comedy, pathos and, as a vehicle for six female leads all in the same show, it's a combination hard to resist," he said. The sub-plots and general human drama is very real these are ordinary women but the play is anything but ordinary.

Involved in theatre for the past 35 years, Benson-Parry has performed extensively with Harbour, Celtic Circle and Limelight Theatres and the Perth Actors Company, most recently directing a sell-out season of Sunset Boulevard.

"With Calendar Girls, it might be assumed the nude scene would be the most difficult but it actually allows a great deal of latitude with the staging," he said. "The main difficulty is the enormous number of props and changing the set from the Women's Institute hall to another location."

Calendar Girls plays at 8pm, August 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17 tickets are $20 adults, $17 concession. Book on 9571 8591 between 9am and midday, Monday to Friday, or online.

Limelight Theatre is located on Civic Drive, Wanneroo.

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Why? A comedy with heart based on a true story
When: 8:00pm
Phone: 9571 8591
Where: Limelight Theatre, Civic Drive, Wanneroo, Western Australia
Cost: $20, (Concession $17)
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