Reported by Lisa Tanh, October 25th, 2017
“I think that in recent years, we’ve seen a lot of movement in writing where women are empowering themselves to make the changes they want to see in the world”
Reported by Olga Livshin, Friday 03rd, November 2017
“The actors playing the calendar girls are on stage almost the entire length of the play. Their monologues and sharp banter are in turn sad or funny, poignant or irreverent. They take the audience on an emotional journey. Each of the six shines in her unique way.”
“I don’t think there’s anything on this planet that more trumpets life that the sunflower. For me that’s because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that’s such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life.” -John – Calendar Girls
Adapted by Tim Firth from the film of the same name, Calendar Girls is based on the true story of WI members who posed nude for an “alternative” calendar and has since become the fastest selling play in British theatre history.
Middle aged Chris Harper and Annie Clarke are best friends. They spend much of their time at their local chapter of the Women’s Institute (WI), whose motto is “enlightenment, fun, and friendship”. Although they like most of the women at the WI (the friendship part), they find much of what goes on there, especially the monthly presentations, devoid of enlightenment and fun. Equally as banal as last year’s fund-raising calendar, featuring local bridges, is this year’s proposed calendar, local churches.
After Annie’s husband John passes away from leukemia, Chris wants the WI to provide a memorial in his memory: a new sofa for the family room at the hospital. Chris proposes to raise the money by changing the fund-raising calendar to one featuring tasteful photographs of nude WI members.
Annie likes the idea as it is analogous to one of horticultural-loving John’s last statements where he said that “the flowers of Yorkshire are like the women of Yorkshire”, and “the last phase of the women of Yorkshire is always the most glorious”
The women, who are eminently respectable and of a certain age, overcome their initial reserve, and drop their dressing gowns. Their modesty is artfully spared only in that each woman is posing behind a different task that the Women’s Institute teaches their members, such as making bread rolls, knitting, planting flowers, and playing the piano.
Puzzling their husbands, mortifying their children and riding the wrath of the outraged WI, the Calendar Girls spark a global phenomenon and enjoy tremendous success. But as media interest snowballs, the women find themselves exposed in ways they’d never expected, revealing more than they’d ever planned.
A note about nudity:
Our Calendar Girls will strip down under the cover of props and other actors. Nothing will be seen, unless we’ve failed. If we do it right, the choreography will be best described as ‘fabulous concealment’ .. and we intend to do it right.
Sisterhood, Doing Something Brave, Being Real
Director’s TALK: Calendar Girls
Alison Schamberger received her early training and education in Scotland while at school and university in Edinburgh. For 38 years she was a drama and english teacher, for 30 years at Burnaby North Secondary School where she directed countless plays and musicals.
On her retirement from teaching in 2005, she began directing at Metro Theatre. Highlights include Anything Goes, Oscar and Felix, Fawlty Towers and, most recently Crossing Delancey.
•Alison will do a brief explanation on – How growing up in the UK and having family in Yorkshire helped her direct this play.
• Discuss the hazards of directing a play featuring middle-aged women and nudity!
• Bring in the cast of Calendar Girls to talk about working on essentially a comedic play that has many serious themes such as courage, friendship, loss and> forgiveness.
• And then open it up to questions from the audience.
Performances are Thursday to Saturday at 8:00 pm, with Sunday Matinees at 2:00 pm. Run time is 2 hours 15 min.
October 28th to November 18th, Thursday through Saturday nights with Matinees on November 5th, & November 18th.
1370 SW Marine Drive, Vancouver, BC. Next to the on-ramp to the Arthur Laing Bridge by Marine Drive and Granville .
Tickets are $25 for adults or $22 for seniors and students, with a special every Thursday 2 for $38. Preview performance $15.
BOX OFFICE WINDOWS HOURS:
Wed – Sat 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm & 1 Hour before each show.
Box Office Phone: 604 266 7191
LICENSED LOUNGE HOURS:
Show Performance Evenings – 7:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Show Performance Matinees – 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
There is plenty of easy parking – in the parking lot, on the street, even ‘All Evening Parking’ for $4 at the Liquor Store Lot just up the street from Metro.
We’re close to the Marpole bus loop and on the #10 route. Check out www.translink.ca for transit directions.
CONTACT: Metro for more information, publicity photos, arrangements for interviews and press tickets.
Funny, sincere, and just a wee bit naughty, CALENDAR GIRLS combines cheeky comedy with heart touching realism
Metro Theatre is delighted to present CALENDAR GIRLS adapted by Tim Firth from his smash hit film of the same name and directed by Alison Schamberger for an extended run on our stage October 28 to November 25, 2017
When Annie’s husband John dies of leukemia, her best friend Chris comes up with a scheme to raise funds to make the waiting space in the cancer ward a little more comfortable, as a memorial to him.
Based on true events, Calendar Girls lifts up the often hilarious, sometimes tense, story of members of the Women’s Institute in Yorkshire who rally around their grieving friend by baring their torsos for a cheeky nude calendar. Interest in the project snowballs and the Calendar Girls find themselves revealing more than they’d ever planned. Coping with the ensuing media frenzy proves even more challenging for their relationships than shedding their clothes
Director Alison Schamberger explains that “All the jam-making and knitting (done by the Women’s Institute) is basically an excuse for a load of respectable middle-aged women to get together and go nuts.”
These Calendar Girls are not what you may think. There is no actual nudity in this production, but there is the carefully staged appearance of nudity. The play is about sisterhood, doing something brave, being real, and building community. Revealing and fun, Calendar Girls, is one of the best-selling plays in British theatre history.
CAST OF CHARACTERS:
Cora……………….. Judy McLellan
Chris……………….. Rebecca Walters
Annie……………….. Peg Keenleyside
Jessie……………….. Joan Koebel
Celia……………….. Yasmin Tayob
Ruth……………….. Helen Martin
Marie……………….. Rhona Lichtenwald
Brenda Hulse………….. Christine Egerton Ball
John……………….. David Wallace
Rod……………….. Daryl Hutchings
Lady Cravenshire……… Christine Egerton Ball
Lawrence……………….. Adrian Maxwell
Elaine……………….. Nicole Park
Liam……………….. Adrian Maxwell