Girls are up to date – The Star, Sheffield 25Sep2012
The pictures might be a bit cheeky but a Sheffield drama group is hoping it hasn’t boobed with its latest production.
Tudor Players is one of more than 500 societies across the world which are set to stage Calender Girls after am-dram rights for the hit show were released for a limited period.
The Star has already reported how different groups in South Yorkshire are kicking off their kit to perform the play.
Among them are Stannington Players and Barnsley’s L S Theatre Productions.
But the Attercliffe-based Tudors are going one step further than most with eight actresses stripping off for an actual calendar too.
“It’s a bit like art copying life,” says publicity officer, professional actor and occasional director Roger Bingham. “The original film and stage show was based on a real-life tale about how members of the Rylstone and District Women’s Institute shot a naked calendar to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research charity.
“So we thought it made sense to do the calendar as well as the play, and raise some money for the same good cause.” Which, of course, is easy for him to say. He’s not the one flashing his flesh to the world. Partner Pam Bush is, though.
“Were we apprehensive?” considers the 62-year-old. “Of course. This is unlike anything any of us have done before. But the photographer is a member of the group and he made us feel comfortable and it’s tastefully done and, of course, it’s for a good cause.”
The subjects range in age from their mid 30s to a proud 74-year-old. That’s Carolyn Heslop who was actually one of the founding members of the Tudor Players back in 1967.
“I definitely never thought I’d be doing anything like this back then,” says the grandmother-of-one from Dore. “There have been a few raised eyebrows but it’s a lovely story.”
There’s a small twist to the calendar too: each month’s picture is based on a popular am-dram production.
So February is The Winter’s Tale with the stars standing in snow (“computer-generated,” says Roger, “it would have been a bit chilly otherwise”); July is The Garden Party; October is The Memory Of Water and December, naturally, is Season’s Greetings.
Each is shot in black and white with a single splash of colour.
“I have to say this, of course but it looks great,” says Roger, 66, who lives with Pam in Ranmoor. “We’ve had a print run of 150 to start with and we’re hoping they sell out. I think, in the end, the girls really quite enjoyed doing it.”
The show will run at the Library Theatre, in Surrey Street, Tuesday October 16 – Saturday, October 20. Call 0114-2853450 for details. The calendar will be available after the show.