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Written by Tim Firth
Directed by Shane Anthony

at Fortune Theatre, Dunedin
From 10 Nov 2012 to 8 Dec 2012

Reviewed by:  Terry MacTavishBarbara Frame (Otago Daily Times); Brenda Harwood (The Star);


A group of extraordinary women, members of a very ordinary Yorkshire Women's Institute, have plans to raise funds for charity: a calendar. They go “all out” in their fundraising efforts and expose more than they'd ever planned.

The news of the women's charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on the village of Knapeley in the Yorkshire Dales. The calendar is a success, but friendships are put to the test under the strain of new-found fame.

Based on the true story of eleven WI members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for a sofa. Calendar Girls opened at the Chichester Festival Theatre and has since become the fastest selling play in British theatre history.

Australian Director Shane Anthony returns to Dunedin (following his very successful production of Avenue Q at the Fortune in 2011) to direct the show: “I had a wonderful experience working with the Fortune Theatre last year on Avenue Q. I'm very excited to be able to return again to work with this team of incredibly talented and dedicated artists, and I can't wait to share this heartwarming story.”

Artistic Director, Lara Macgregor says: “This show is a natural fit for the Christmas Season. It has little bit of everything (so to speak) for everybody. As the play is directly based on the movie, it has an immediate recognizable factor. I'm not sure if this is contributing to our preshow sales but tickets are flying out the door.” 

 “It's marvellous theatre, guaranteed to make you laugh, cry and come out singing Jerusalem.” – Mail on Sunday 

“Dazzlingly funny, shamelessly sentimental and utterly captivating…the mingling of pathos and comedy here is simply unbeatable.” - Lloyd Evans, Spectator 


Saucy Readings / Thursday 1 November meet at 12.15pm in the Dunedin Public Library, ground floor. Reading will commence at 12.30pm followed by afternoon tea. This is a FREE event.

Opening Night / Saturday 10 November 7.30pm, Fortune Theatre.


Member's Briefing / Sunday 11 November meet at the Fortune bar at 3.00pm and join Fortune Theatre Artistic Director Lara Macgregor for a lively informal chat about the making of Calendar Girls

Forum / Tuesday 13 November Q & A session with the cast and crew post 6.00pm show.

Fortune Sociable Club / Wednesday 12 November meet in the bar at 6.30pm and meet like-minded individuals and get connected.

Ladies Night / Thursday 22 November grab your girlfriends for the most talked about show of the year. Sample the new Brancott Estate Flight Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris, receive a goodie bag and be in to win fabulous spot prizes on the night. Doors open 7.00pm; show starts 7.30pm, $45 a ticket, bookings essential.

Audio Described Performance / Sunday 2 December an audio described performance offered in collaboration with Experience Access for visually impaired patrons and friends. Audio Described Touch Tour at 2.30pm before 4pm matinee. Bookings essential.

Production Dates:  10 November – 8 December 2012
Fortune Theatre, 231 Stuart Street, Dunedin 9016
Tuesday, 6pm / Wednesday - Saturday, 7.30pm / Sunday, 4pm
(no show Monday)

Tickets:  Gala (first 5 shows) $32, Adults $40, Senior Citizens $32, Members $30, Tertiary Students $20, High School Students $15, Group discount (10 +) $32
Ladies Night $45 

Bookings:  Fortune Theatre, 231 Stuart Street, Dunedin; (03) 477 8323  

Donna Akersten:  Chris 
Michele Amas:  Annie 
Clare Adams:  Cora 
 Lisa Warrington:  Jessie 
Hilary Halba:  Ruth 
 Donogh Rees:  Celia 
Hilary Norris:  Marie 
Peter Hayden:  John
Tim Bartlett:  Rod 
Lynda Milligan:  Brenda / Lady Cravenshire / Elaine
Danny Still:  Lawrence / Liam 

Set Designer:  Peter King 
Costume Designer:  Maryanne Wright-Smyth
Lighting Designer:  Stephen Kilroy
Sound Designer:  Lindsay Gordon

Stage Manager:  Rebecca Tapp
Assistant Stage Manager / Properties Master:  Jennifer Aitken
Technical Coordinator:  Lindsay Gordon
Set Build:  Peter King, Matt Best
Lighting and Sound Operator:  Siddharth Makkuni Puthiyavalappil
Rigging:  Lisa van den Berg, Brett Lupton
Artwork Design:  Firebrand
Programme Design:  Katy Miller, Firebrand, Larissa Dyke, Marketing & Communication Manager, Fortune Theatre
Video Trailer:  Filmed and Edited by Miguel Nitis
Artistic Direction:  Lara Macgregor
Photographer:  Alan Dove Photography