Author: Tim Firth
Director: George Benca
Characters Summary: 4M 9F
CHRIS - 50s. You want Chris at your party. She will talk to people she doesn’t know, and things to say to all silences and generate laughter.
ANNIE - 50s. Annie will join in mischief but is at heart more conformist and less confrontational than Chris.
CORA - around 40. Cora’s past is the most eclectic, her horizons broadened by having gone to college.
JESSIE - late 60s/70s. Get on the right side of Jessie as a teacher and she’ll be the teacher you remember for life.
CELIA - age anything 35-50. The fact that Celia is in the WI is the greatest justification of its existence. A woman more at home in a department store than a church hall, she may be slightly younger than Chris or the same age, but she always feels like she’s drifted in from another world.
RUTH - 40s. Ruth’s journey is from the false self-confidence of the emotionally abused to the genuine self confidence of the woman happy in her own skin.
MARIE - 50s. Marie has gradually built the current ‘Marie’ around herself over the years as a defence mechanism. She went to her Oz, Cheshire, and found Oz didn’t want her.
JOHN - 50s. John is a human sunflower.
ROD - Chris's husband, 50s. You have to be a certain kind of guy to stick with Chris and Rod loves it.
LAWRENCE - late 20s. Hesitant without being nerdy, Lawrence is a shy young man with enough wit to make a joke and enough spirit to turn up at the WI hall in the first place.
LADY CRAVENSHIRE - 60s. Lady Cravenshire really doesn’t mean to be so patronising. But the WI girls seem from another world. The world of her estate workers. Dress: when she makes an entrance, she must make an entrance. Largely white or cream to outplay the others, with a bigger hat than Marie. She is not a tweed-wearer. She must glide in like a galleon.
ELAINE - 20s. Elaine really doesn’t mean to be so patronising. But Jessie seems from another world. The world of her gran. Dress: her clinical whites slice through like a knife.
LIAM - late 20s. Liam would like to be directing other things than photoshoots for washing powders. He’s not so unprofessional as to let it show, but we can sense a slight weariness at having to deal with these women. There’s a resigned patience to his actions and each smile he makes we feel is professional. For Liam, this photoshoot is a job. And not the job he wanted. Dress: Avoid wearing shades inside a building.
Precast Characters: Nil
Audition Venue: Crossroads Theatre
Cnr Synott Street and Duncans Road,
Theatre: Crossroads Theatre
Cnr Synott Street and Duncans Road,
Company Email: email@example.com
Company Website: http://www.wyndhamtheatrecompany.org.au/
Synopsis: When Annie's husband John dies of leukaemia, she and best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting room. They manage to persuade four fellow WI members to pose nude with them for an alternative calendar, with a little help from hospital porter and amateur photographer Lawrence. The news of the women's charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on the small village of Knapeley in the Yorkshire Dales. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie's friendship is put to the test under the strain of their new-found fame.
Based on the true story of eleven WI members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukaemia Research Fund, Calendar Girls opened at the Chichester Festival Theatre and has since become the fastest selling play in British theatre history.