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Calendar Girls
by Tim Firth
The Mitre Theatre, Croydon
October 2012
Director: Di Jones

 

Please use THIS LINK  to view the Photographs of the show.

Click HERE to download a .pdf of the souvenir programme

 

Croydon Advertiser Review 

 

High comedy is revealed, alongside tastefully displayed ‘nude’ ladies as this charming story of the rather daring members of the Knapely WI aim to buy a new sofa in the hospital waiting room where Annie’s husband John is being treated for Leukaemia. As their success escalates they finally fund a whole new hospital wing.

 

As WI Chairman Marie, Julia Gibbs deals high handedly with her unruly members, being posh, precise and prissie. She has Ruth, played as the mouse that eventually roared by Eve Simpson, at her beck and call but meets her match with the wealthy Celia - Katherine Bottomley giving her the necessary elegance and poise, the controlling Chris given much light and shade plus an emerging bossiness by Lorraine Price, and Cora trying to live down her hippie past. Jane Kortlandt even learnt to play the required piano pieces for this role. Jill Poulloin is retired school teacher Jessie, delivering some of playwright Tim Firth’s superb one-liners with perfect comic timing. Tonia Porter portrays the bereaved Annie with a moving performance of a love and friend lost, yet never underplays her comic moments. Neil O’Gorman is the fated John, making an impact within his brief appearance.

 

Cameo roles are well defined here too. Claire Ali is the ‘county’ Lady Cravenshire, Sue Long the boring speaker on the History of the Tea Towel, Dave Price is Chris’ florist husband, Charles Marriott the pushy advertising man Liam and Kara Johnston the beautician Elaine at the mercy of Ruth’s roar. To Simon Long falls the role of timid photographer - a good mix here of embarrassment and artistic photographic flair.

 

Di Jones directed, bringing out every possible nuance of the piece which, alongside raising money, aims to beat the world record for the number of amateur productions performed within a calendar year.

 

Theo Spring                                                                        Croydon Advertiser                                          November 2012