All good things must come to an end, and that was certainly the case of Milton Follies triumphant production of Calendar Girls which closed with a full house on Sunday 11th November. The show, seen by over a thousand people, was a huge success, with audiences treated to a heart warming show with bold performances which made them laugh uproariously one minute and move them to tears the next.
Calendar Girls came together as a result of six months of hard work. Director Diana Falloon knew how much potential the show had, and kept a firm hand on bringing her vision to life. Allan and Jann Dean, new to the area, brought a wealth of experience, talent and hard work to their roles of Producer and Props Manager, and brought the show to flower – as those of you who were blown away by the calendar shoot and final sunflower scene will attest! Superbly wrangled by our Stage Manager Jennifer Sach and her stage crew, cast and props were always where they meant to be, when they were meant to be there, and mostly in correct costumes thanks to Costume Manager Ash Howes. The unflappable Hair and Makeup team, headed by Renee Morgan and Ingrid Elenius, were their usual fabulous selves, and helped the cast to stride on stage and into character. We also owe our Lighting Designer, Claire Kirk-Downey, a debt of gratitude. Her work was magnificent, but the funeral and letters scene were both particularly given an additional emotional punch by her design. We would have also been lost without our safety net, Prompt Cath Tidbury, who attended every rehearsal and knew the show backwards. A huge thanks also goes to Steve Sayers, for his tireless work as Sponsorship Officer and FOH manager, as well as to all the volunteers who helped both front and back of stage. Follies also would like to acknowledge the hard work and support offered by Billy and the UHS Entertainment students.
Finally, a word about our cast. Many of our cast had not worked together before, nor taken on roles that stretched or challenged them as much as this show did. Calendar Girls is first and foremost about friendship, and that’s what this show created in abundance for our performers. There’s nothing like choreographing public nudity with random props and lighting covers to promote trust and respect within a group – and that comes only after multiple rehearsals full of hysterical laughter and dawning realisation that yes, this is actually going to happen! Having the show so well received – and being met with wave upon wave of raucous laughter which you think has peaked but then gets even louder – has been an experience they will never forget.
As always, thank you to our sponsors and to our community. We look forward to building on the success of Calendar Girls.
Photo Credit : Anna Rosenzweig