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Stage is set for Grassington Players' gala opening of Calendar Girls
8:00am Friday 24th August 2012 in Leisure
Members of Grassington Players headed to the hills for this tribute image to commemorate their forthcoming production of Calendar Girls.
Having secured the rights to the world premiere amateur performance of the play – based on a group of Rylstone WI ladies who posed for a nude calendar – the cast and team are busy preparing for their gala opening in Grassington Town Hall next Friday, August 31.
More than 320 amateur dramatic societies have been granted a licence to perform the play in the coming months, but Grassington Players – in the heart of Calendar Girls country – are being allowed to perform the play one day earlier.
The audience at the premiere will include the author Tim Firth, some of the original Rylstone WI Calendar Girls and national television cameras.
“The greatest challenge is playing characters based on the people we know personally, on whom the story is based,” said Jane Ellison-Bates who plays widow Annie Clarke. “It is harder in some ways even than appearing nude in front of an audience. Knowing the ‘real’ women means the production has taken on a much greater significance.”
Her real-life partner Mark Bamforth, who plays her husband John, is the son of original Calendar Girl Beryl Bamforth.
It was to highlight the group’s closeness to the Calendar Girls and their affinity with the Dales that Grassington Players chose an iconic local Wharfedale view as the backdrop to their publicity photographs, taken by locally-based Heidi Marfitt.
Although the gala night is a sell-out, tickets are available for the performances on September 1, 6, 7 and 8 from Grassington Hub on (01756) 752222.