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Sussex theatre groups are first to bare all for Calendar Girls
These Calendar Girls have been counting the days until their chance to bare all on stage.
Across Sussex theatre groups are taking advantage of the release of the rights to the show, about a group of Yorkshire women who pose for a nude calendar to raise money for a cancer charity.
The film version starred Helen Mirren, Julie Walters and Celia Imrie – but now amateur groups have the right to fill their shoes.
A stage adaptation started at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2008 before moving to the West End.
First show TJ Productions in Littlehampton snapped up the first performing rights when they were released in January 2011, and were the first in the area to put on the show when the licence came into force this month.
Jane Kimber, who plays Miss November in the show at the Windmill Theatre, said: “A few years ago the chaps all did The Full Monty and ever since then all us ladies have been saying, ‘We’d like a show for the girls, please’.
“The photograph scene is the heart of the performance.
“It’s actually a very poignant show. There are very few people who haven’t been touched by cancer.”
Her husband Tim, who directs the show, said: “The professional show lost something by virtue of having celebs in it.
“Our ‘amateurs’ are very talented, and have brought back the fact that these were ordinary women doing something extraordinary.”
Hurstpierpoint Players are preparing to stage the show later this month.
Bob Sampson, director, said: “They were very nervous at first.
“One of the ladies has a hot tub in her garden. They got together with a few bottles of wine and got used to being in front of each other with nothing on.”
The Littlehampton show’s run ended with two performances on Saturday.
The Hurstpierpoint Players are performing at the Players Theatre, Hurstpierpoint, from September 17 to 22.
Brighton Little Theatre in Clarence Gardens, Brighton, is staging a version from October 1 to October 6.
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