Written by Tim Firth
Directed by Claire White-Aldworth
Brook Hall, Brox Road, Ottershaw.
24th to 27th July 2013, at 7.30pm
Tickets: £12, £10 concessions
Ottershaw Players Box Office: 01932 241341
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When Annie’s husband 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 Women’s Institute members, Cora, Celia, Ruth and Jessie, 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.
(ages are approximate and only the original suggestion of the script)
One of those people who always knows what to say in any given situation. She is like the honey to all the bees as she fairly glows with charisma. Fun, bubbly, lively, loves to be the centre of attention. This of course gets up some peoples noses!
More conservative, calm and considered than Chris. She loves to follow rather than compete however she is still up for all the fun and laughter created by their friendship.
A fun-loving joker, she once got her fingers burnt and the reprimand of her parents leaves her sensitive to talk of her daughter’s father. She enjoys her music, she can sing and play the piano (basic is acceptable). She would love to be stronger and braver and this might just be her opportunity.
Jessie, late 60’s/70’s
A born teacher and lover of life, she would be the teacher you remember forever. If not a teacher then a political protester in hippie guise. She effuses wit, sarcasm and energy and has a distinct and audible dislike for time wasters and pomposity.
Celia, age anything 35-50
She looks glamorous yet teetering on the edge of brassy. ALWAYS in heels (except when golfing), hair always perfect, nails done, make-up on, if we could smell her it would be expensive. Isn’t sure quite why she’s in the WI and really she and Jessie ought to despise each other being so polar, but Celia has a depth and intelligence far beyond the materialistic exterior she portrays which means she is every bit as important in this group as any one else.
Appears Mrs Average, plain, simple but with kindness in abundance. She has an inner strength though so when battle commences she knows where her morals lie and how to fight. From an unhappy relationship disguised as perfect, to the bullying nature of Marie, Ruth has a long emotional journey to self awareness.
Her world is a carefully arranged set of false images created to deceive all into believing her life is perfect and that she is in full control. A lady it would be hard to like yet easy to feel sorry for. Her shallow, brittle exterior could so easily crumble. Winning rosettes at the village show mean a great personal victory to her.
John, Annie’s husband, 50’s
Not saint nor hero, this chap is simply a good friend to all. He glows with the love of his life, his wife and his beloved Yorkshire. He would be a significant part of your life if you knew him and then when he dies it would feel like there is a hole left where he once was.
Rod, Chris’s husband, 50’s
A man capable of understanding and loving the way Chris’s mind ticks. He loves the fight and the making up, he can give as good as he gets and knows how to make her laugh. He loves his shop and loved the set-up of his life until it all rocked of track with the death of his mate.
Lawrence, late 20’s
Shy, considerate, but no nerd. A good sense of humour and a good eye for detail he has the nerve to take on these lively ladies with their crazy proposition and really creates a thing of beauty. This is far from porn.
Lady Cravenshire, 60’s
Patronising without any intention. She comes from a different world (or likes to think so!) As she enters a room she still believes the men should ‘doff their cap’ and the ladies should curtsey. A constant smile is plastered to her face, she is the upper class version of ‘all tits and teeth’!
The archetype blonde bimbo with a patronising belief that anyone older than her mum must be senile.
Liam, late 20’s
Has dreams of a great career directing films in Hollywood, how come he’s still here directing commercials for washing powder with a strange bunch of middle aged ladies?! He is far too professional to let it show, though the smile displays some of his weariness.
|Lady Cravenshire||Fiona Collier|
|Stage Manager||Mark Holton|
|Deputy Stage Manager||Thomasina Breslin|
|Production Set Design & Build||Claire White-Aldworth, Matthew Horton, Sandy Hurle|
|Props||Claire White-Aldworth, Mark Holton|
|Front of House Manager||Jill and Allan Wakefield|
|Box Office||Brenda Midwinter|
|Publicity Design||Row and Andrew Midson|