Monday, October 20, 2008

Calendar Girls at The Lowry

I am on a theatre roll. Tonight it was Calendar Girls, adapted for the stage by the movie's director.

Calendar Girls is one of my favourite movies, the sort of feel-good movie, despite its deeply sad sub-text, that I always have on standby when I want to hear familiar voices in the background while I knit alone. Perhaps this deep knowledge of the movie itself is what dampened my enjoyment slightly, for I knew well that what worked in the movie would have been cut-and-pasted in the play.

I happened to share the director's vision for the stage production, for his choices did not surprise me in the slightest and certainly did not disappoint. The exchange between Annie and Chris is right here, word by very word, as is Celia's hilarious turn as the first girl to be photographed, now known as the 'we are gonna need considerably bigger buns' scene.

As is often the case though, the live production allowed me to feel closer to the characters in a way that I was not expecting. I found myself sniffling in silence as Annie and her husband John enjoyed some last moments together and rather gloomy thoughts came to mind when his wheelchair was left empty, illuminated by the white spotlight.

The play is enjoying great success and is already slotted for a second run in Manchester in March 2009. I would watch it again, even though I was left wondering why the girls were only six as opposed to the twelve that we see in the movie. I would have quite happily played one of them; seeing them embracing their bodies so well and on every level suddenly made me feel unashamed of my dimples and extra-large bottom. Thank you girls.
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