David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers, the producers of Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s musical comedy, CALENDAR GIRLS The Musical, based on the true story, the film and the award-winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls, are delighted to announce that the production will return home to Yorkshire and open at the Leeds Grand Theatre on 16 August 2018 at the start of a new UK & Ireland Tour. The first 30 weeks are listed below, with further dates to be added.
The new tour will star novelist and television presenter Fern Britton, returning to the stage for the first time in 30 years, as Marie, Lorraine Bruce (Kay Mellor’s The Syndicate and theatre credits include Piafat The Donmar and Vernon God Little at the Young Vic) as Cora, Anna-Jane Casey (Billy Elliot on tour, Stepping Out in London’s West End, title role in Annie Get Your Gun at Sheffield Crucible) as Annie, Sara Crowe (West End roles include Bedroom Farce, The Real Inspector Hound & Black Comedy and Hay Fever) as Ruth, Ruth Madoc (Hi-De-Hi, Little Britain and Gypsy) as Jessie, Rebecca Storm (discovered by Willy Russell and cast as Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers, and her handprints are part of the Dublin’s Gaiety Theatre Walk of Fame) as Chris and Denise Welch (The Rise and Fall of Little Voice,Coronation Street and Waterloo Road) as Celia.
The critically acclaimed and award-winning production played a six-month London season at the Phoenix Theatre last year, and, before that, this musical comedy played sold-out seasons in Leeds and Manchester.
Tim Firth said,
“To be given a chance to revisit CALENDAR GIRLS The Musical is a unique opportunity. Gary [Barlow] and I have been working away and, as the great Stephen Sondheim said, ‘MUSICAL COMEDIES AREN’T WRITTEN, THEY ARE REWRITTEN’.”
Gary Barlow added,
“What a phenomenal new cast we have. Tim and I sat in – and indeed played – on the auditions and have been so lucky to have put together such talented ladies.”
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.
CALENDAR GIRLS THE MUSICAL 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.
Bloodwise, the UK’s specialist blood cancer charity, will continue to receive monies from this production.
CALENDAR GIRLS The Musical is directed by Matt Ryan and designed by Robert Jones, with comedy staging by Jos Houben, movement by Lucy Hind and casting by Sarah Bird.
Producer Scott Rudin announced today that Charlie Stemp, whose stunning debut in Half A Sixpence “has taken the West End by storm” (The Evening Standard), will make his Broadway debut as Barnaby Tucker in the most successful and beloved Broadway production of the year: Hello, Dolly!.
Mr. Stemp will begin performances opposite the previously announced stars Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber on Saturday evening, January 20, 2018, prior to a Thursday, February 22 opening night. Taylor Trensch will play his final performance as Barnaby Tucker on Sunday, January 14 ahead of taking the lead role in Dear Evan Hansen.
Mr. Stemp’s turn as Arthur Kipps in Half A Sixpence has been called “one of those fairy-tale performances that’s the stuff of legend” (The Sunday Telegraph). He has been universally praised by critics as “a huge find” (The Telegraph), who is filled with such “undiluted charm” (The Daily Express) and “magnetism” (New York Post), that “you just have to sit forward and stare” (The Times of London) at his “megawatt glow” (The Evening Standard) – which contains “enough energy to light up the West End” (The Daily Mail).
Charlie Stemp will replace Taylor Trensch (shown above) as Barnaby Tucker in ‘Hello, Dolly!’ Photo by Julieta Cervantes
This production of Michael Stewart and Jerry Herman’s Hello, Dolly! instantly became the most coveted ticket of the year when it broke the record for best first day of ticket sales in Broadway history. By the time it began previews, it had the largest pre-performance advance sale in Broadway history. It went on to win four Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical (Bette Midler), Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Gavin Creel), and Best Costume Design of a Musical (Santo Loquasto), and has continued to break the Shubert Theatre house box office record over and over and over and over again.
Directed by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks and choreographed by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle, Hello, Dolly! began performances on Broadway on March 15, 2017, and officially opened on Thursday, April 20, 2017.
This Hello, Dolly!, the first new production of the classic musical (based on Thornton Wilder’s The Matchmaker) to appear on Broadway since it opened more than fifty years ago, pays tribute to the work of its original director/ choreographer Gower Champion, which has been hailed both then and now as one of the greatest stagings in musical theater history.
Mr. Stemp is appearing with the permission of Actors’ Equity Association. The producers gratefully acknowledge Actors’ Equity Association for its assistance to this production.
Charlie Stemp as Arthur Kipps in ‘Half a Sixpence’ Photo by Manuel Harlan
Charlie Stemp (Barnaby Tucker) garnered unprecedented critical acclaim for his star-making performance in the West End revival of Half A Sixpence. The production premiered at the Chichester Festival Theatre and transferred to the West End in 2016, where it received rave reviews. For his performance as Arthur Kipps, he was nominated for the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical, the 2017 Carl Alan Performer’s Award, and was honored with the 2017 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actor in a Musical. In addition, for the Chichester production, he received a 2016 UK Theatre Award nomination for Best Performance in a Musical. Mr. Stemp made his professional debut in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, before playing Eddie in the international tour of Mamma Mia!. He was born in London and graduated from Laine Theatre Arts.