Gary Barlow and Tim Firth triumphed tonight, Sunday 19 February 2017, ahead of the opening of their musical THE GIRLS in London’s West End on Tuesday 21 February. At an awards ceremony at the Prince of Wales Theatre, they won the prestigious WhatsOnStage Award for Best Regional Production. Gary and Tim and the original Calendar Girls were given a rapturous reception from an audience made up of stars from all the West End shows after Gary, Tim and Joanna Riding performed Scarborough, a song from their musical.
Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new British musical, THE GIRLS, is based on the true story, the film and the award-winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls. The West End premiere at the Phoenix Theatre, which began previews on 28 January 2017, follows sold-out runs at the Grand Theatre Leeds and the Lowry Salford late 2015/early 2016. In the West End, the producers have made a commitment to there being no ‘premium-rated’ seats, no booking fees and reduced price previews.
The ‘Girls’ are played by Debbie Chazen as Ruth, Sophie-Louise Dann as Celia, Michele Dotrice as Jessie, Claire Machin as Cora, Claire Moore as Chris and Joanna Riding as Annie. Also in the cast will be Joe Caffrey as Rod, Jeremy Clyde as Denis, John Davitt as Doctor, Soo Drouet as Brenda, James Gaddas as John, Jenny Gayner as Miss Wilson (coffee), Steve Giles as Lawrence, Maxwell Hutcheon as Colin, Shirley Jameson as Miss Wilson (tea), Marian McLoughlin as Marie, Judith Street as Lady Cravenshire and Jane Lambert, Rebecca Louis, Victoria Blackburn and Frazer Hadfield, and introducing Josh Benson as Tommo, Ben Hunter as Danny and Chloe May Jackson as Jenny.
THE GIRLS is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands, and have to date raised almost £5million for Bloodwise. This musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary.
Gary Barlow and Tim Firth grew up in the same village in the north of England and have been friends for 25 years. With Take That, Gary has written and co-written 14 number one singles, has sold over 50 million records worldwide and is a six times Ivor Novello Award winner. Tim has won the Olivier Award and UK Theatre Award for Best New Musical, and the British Comedy Awards Best Comedy Film for Calendar Girls.
THE GIRLS is directed by Tim Firth, with musical staging by Lizzi Gee, comedy staging by Jos Houben, design by Robert Jones, lighting design by Tim Lutkin, sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster, musical direction and orchestrations by Richard Beadle, with casting by Sarah Bird, and associate producer is U-Live.
THE GIRLS is produced by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and The Shubert Organization.
Bloodwise, the UK’s specialist blood cancer charity, will receive monies from this production.