The evening of Monday 13th October the sky was clear, the rain held off and Tolcross was besieged by gaggles of middle-aged women. decked out in Per Una’s finest and all flocking to King’s Theatre for a night of frivolous hilarity at the hands of Calendar Girls.
Once through the marble foyer the demographic failed to change. Men were scarce and the obligatory ten-deep queue for the ladies’ was coloured by the swapping of hot flush stories and mutual pashmina admiration. Cliche it may sound but the story of a group of rebellious Yorkshire Women’s Instituters was always destined to find a warm reception among women of a certain age.
Yet while certain jokes were obviously tailored to this specific niche the heart-warming story of Tim Firth’s play could not fail to make itself universally appealing.
Set in the parochial village of Napely in the Yorkshire Dales, Calendar Girls tells the true story of Chris, Annie and their fellow rebels of the WI’s local branch. When Annie’s husband John is diagnosed with lymphoma the girls rally round, deciding to raise enough funds to replace the aging sofa in the relatives’ room of Skipton General whose dodgy protruding springs threaten to create as many new patients as existing relatives.