|The Phoenix Theatre all dressed up!|
“The flowers of Yorkshire are like the women of Yorkshire. Every stage of their growth has its own beauty, but the last phase is the most glorious. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it and that’s an admirable thing. And such a life lesson.”
|Cast members with Gary Barlow and Tim Firth (source @thegirlsmusical)|
|Me with the Calendar Girls|
|Me chatting to The Calendar Girls at a Bloodwise event|
Accompanied by shrieks of laughter the clever choreography and positioning of props made the photo shoot scene simply hilarious. It really felt like they were doing it for the first and only time as the original Calendar Girls did, not that they do this for every show! From the emotions conveyed by the cast I believed they were thoroughly enjoying every moment and they have a real empathy to the story. Perhaps this was due to their brilliant acting abilities and the language used by Tim Firth but still. The young actors were very impressive too and I’m sure I will be seeing a lot more of them in the future.
|One of the nude photo shoots on stage (source @thegirlsmusical)|
There were moments when I could really feel the pain of John’s battle yet also his passion for life and wonderful sense of humour. As I looked at those around me the tears were flowing but accompanied by smiles. From what I have read about John it would have been exactly how he would have liked it, he wouldn’t want anyone to be sad but you can’t ignore the fact that tragically he lost his battle too young with so much life to live.
The writing of Tim Firth and music of Gary Barlow illustrate this story perfectly, summing up the emotional roller coaster that was the birth of the Calendar Girls. As always Gary Barlow’s lyrics really moved me, in fact his ‘Rule The World’ track was played over and over by my husband on his way home from visiting me in hospital where I spent 6 months. The lyrics, especially ‘don’t leave me now’, ‘don’t fade away’ and ‘if you stay by my side we can rule the world’ particularly resonating.
The show stayed with me for days and I cannot stress how much you would take away from this show if you went to see it. A reminder of what is really important in life, friendship, support and in the darkest of times managing to find the light, no matter how dim and turning towards it. I too have had so much overwhelming support from my community in many ways, but no naked calendar…yet!
The show, I am sure, will appeal to anyone affected by any type of cancer, or who has experienced something positive after a tough time. John’s family have always been involved and during the whole process the producers and writers have respected their story. Another reason why this musical is so special, everyone has put their hearts into it and it really comes across when you watch it unfold.
When asked about The Girls Musical…
“The musical is absolutely fantastic and John would have been so proud. As a family it helps us believe that he didn’t die in vain, that he’s been part of it and with us every step of the way. John would have wanted to help other people who get this terrible disease.” Angela Baker
I haven’t watched the film since I was very suddenly diagnosed with an aggressive Leukaemia with only hours to live I had 90% bone marrow failure. Not wanting to unleash all the emotions I keep under tight control. Often I think back to when it all originally started, the Calendar hitting the news, getting worldwide attention, the film. etc and I shiver at the thought that these incredible women, their families and friends would have a part in my future, yet at the time I had no idea what I would face. Thanks to their fundraising for Bloodwise, who’ve invested millions in life saving research there have been some major advances in blood cancer treatment and outcomes. Words are not enough to express how much this means to me and my family.
For tickets and information click here; http://www.thegirlsmusical.com/
|The Calendar Girls with Dr Dawn Harper at a Bloodwise event I attended|
For more information on Bloodwise formally known as Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Society Click here ; https://bloodwise.org.uk/