Six of Newport Playgoers’ leading ladies have bared all for a charity calendar. The actresses, who are appearing in ‘Calendar Girls’ at the Dolman Theatre next week, even managed to persuade the play’s director to strip off to help promote the calendar.
“We thought what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander,” said Nicola Carlyle, who plays Chris in the play – the role played by Dame Helen Mirren in the hit film about the WI ladies who started the phenomenon.
“So when it came to taking a group photo of us with the calendar, we all insisted that Kevin Myers, who’s directing the play, take off his clothes and join us. He was a little reluctant at first but we managed to talk him into it.”
Nicola and the other Newport Calendar Girls were all nervous at first about having to take their clothes off on stage.
“My character is the one who comes up with the idea of a tastefully nude calendar so I have to be the boldest about doing it,” said Nicola. “We were all a little nervous about how it would be done but Kevin has come up with some very inventive ways of sparing our blushes during the photoshoot scene.”
Proceeds from sales of the calendar will go towards the same leukaemia charity supported by the original calendar girls as well as helping pay for the ongoing refurbishment of Newport’s oldest community theatre. It will be on sale, priced just £5, during the run of the play from 10th – 15th June and can also be ordered from the Dolman Box Office.
Playgoers’ production of ‘Calendar Girls’ has already received support from many of the stars of both the stage and screen versions, including Dame Helen Mirren, Lynda Bellingham and Celia Imrie.
The celebrity messages will be on display in the theatre during the run of the play – which has had two extra performances added due to public demand – and the theatre bar will be transformed into a Women’s Institute fete with a variety of stalls.
The play is based on the film which tells the true story of the WI ladies who achieved worldwide fame after posing nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukaemia Research Fund.
‘Calendar Girls’ is at the Dolman Theatre from Monday 10 – Saturday 15 June at 7.15 pm, with an extra matinee performance on the Saturday at 2.30 pm. There are discounts of 10% for group bookings. To book tickets call 01633 263670 or visit www.dolmantheatre.co.uk.