This is the final tour of the record breaking professional play based on the true story of a Yorkshire Women’s Institute group who raised eyebrows by posing nude to raise cash the local hospital.
But ordinary women all over the UK will continue taking their clothes off on stage and boosting cancer research funds because Tim Firth’s poignant play has been snapped up by no less than 950 amateur companies.
The professional version enjoyed a record-breaking run in Wolverhampton last year and judging by the opening night will do very well indeed on its farewell visit.
Veteran actress Lesley Joseph is excellent as Chris, the driving force in the WI group who become a global phenomenon when they pose for the calendar hoping to make enough cash to buy a settee for the hospital where the husband of one of their members was treated before he died.
The ladies pose tastefully on stage for the photo shoot, using flowers, music sheets, knitting wool and teapots for a little cover, though Birmingham’s own Kathryn Rooney, playing Celia, showed rather more than expected when she briefly abandoned her iced, cherry-topped buns and shot her arms into the air.
The Calendar Girls continue getting their kit off until Saturday night.