Calendar launch with stage show

The Birdwell/Dearne Calendar Girls who are producing a charity calendar along with their performances beginning September 1.

The Birdwell/Dearne Calendar Girls who are producing a charity calendar along with their performances beginning September 1.

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DEARNE Calendar Girls launched their staging of the iconic Tim Firth story on Saturday - along with colourful calendars!

Playing to packed audiences this week at the Academy Theatre, Birdwell, the local ‘Knapely WI’ ladies took time out to bare all for their charity calendars that are being sold prior to performances of Calendar Girls.

The 2013 calendar is shot at a South Yorkshire farm, to benefit the Weston Park Cancer Appeal.

Dearne actor and producer Lee Semley who directed the shoot said: “I am so proud of this group of women. When I approached them with the idea of producing a nude calendar they were a little hesitant...but after several cups of tea and a Victoria sponge I won them round.

“We had a fantastic day photographing the ladies and the shots look stunning. Again, this is a calendar celebrating women.”

Lee’s mother Janet was treated for breast cancer at Weston Park Hospital, Sheffield, and she was one of the first in the queue to buy the quirky calendar.

Irene Jones from Birdwell, (cast member and Miss September) said after the shoot that she felt “well and truly liberated.”

Irene and her fellow cast members will perform on stage until September 15.

The lead role of Annie is taken by Jenny Crummack of Barnsley. This role was originally made famous by Julie Walters in the 2003 film, but for Jenny it is a particularly poignant part to play. Like Annie, Jenny lost her husband to cancer, so could relate strongly to her character.

The play is brought to South Yorkshire by LS Theatre Productions, as one of just a handful of amateur companies nationally that were picked to perform the classic. Tickets still available on 01226 744442.