Rivalry over roles for Calendar Girls

The new Dearne Calendar Girls.
The new Dearne Calendar Girls.

WOMEN turned out in droves to vie for roles as Calendar Girls in the Dearne.

It was definitely “bra straps at dawn” at auditions, said producer Lee Semley, who will bring the iconic play to the Birdwell stage in September.

Lee feared there may not be enough takers for the ‘ladies over 30’ roles that involves some tasteful disrobing - but in fact that there was fierce competition!

Over 100 hopefuls were turned away initially. Just 30 made the shortlist.

Playgoers can expect some unusual props in the nude-but-tasteful scene of the play.....objects taken from the work, hobby or passion of each of the ladies will help to preserve their modesty, and make for memorable viewing, promises Lee.

And chosen Calendar Girls will later feature on their own dare-to-bare charity calendar, for which Lee is seeking ‘exciting and unique’ locations.

Among those to land roles were Wombwell woman Bev Jacques, a police fingerprints officer in her first lead for LS Theatre Productions, and Bolton-on-Dearne thespian Pat Wilson.

Their biggest challenge is the tight rehearsal schedule, with just 10 sessions to get the show together, said Lee.

But he likes a challenge, and is passionate about the production that he and his ladies will give “blood, sweat and tears” to get right.

Lee chose his lead characters after observing, and getting to know them in three-hour workshops.

“I was looking for real Yorkshire women with stories to tell and believe I have secured a stellar cast,” he said. “We are the only company in the UK to be attempting a 15-performance run.”

This ‘very British story’ based on an inspiring true tale about women of the Rylstone WI, is being shown by selected amateur companies for the first time. LS Theatre is thrilled to be one.

The opening night at Birdwell’s Academy Theatre on September 1 will be a charity gala night for the Barnsley Hospice. Tickets are on sale tel. 01226 744442.