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Calendar Girls, Music Theatre South, The Hub Theatre, Southampton City College
A GROUP of extraordinary women in a very ordinary Yorkshire Women’s Institute challenge each other to produce a charity calendar with a difference.
In MTS’ first foray into ‘straight’ acting Christine English (superior Marie) was excellent, with faultless accent and scathing put-downs, matched by wonderfully feisty Helen Barrington (Jessie); Kamya Rawstron Brake (Cora, accent maintained even when singing), Kirsty Dawe (Ruth) and Sarah Mulcare (Celia) demonstrating very good comic timing.
Calendar Girls is infamous for its themed on-stage nudity, but this is only actually a minor part of the play, with the crux of the comic drama being the relationships of these strong women.
However, the depth of characters and gritty northern humour didn’t always come across here (although they become more convincing as the play progressed), some of the accents seemed to wander around various regions and the lighting was disappointingly unimaginative, although the simple set, projections and flown sunflowers were effective.