Drama group ladies dare to bare for charity
1:00pm Friday 12th October 2012 in News
The women of Carnon Downs Drama Group are preparing to strip on stage next week – but all in the name of charity. They are to become the first amateur dramatic group in the West Country to perform the play Calendar Girls, adapted from the film of the same name.
It is based on the true story of Yorkshire WI, who pose nude for a calendar to raise money for a new settee in their local hospital waiting room – and beat even their wildest dreams. The rights to the production were released to amateur groups back in February, for one year only, and always up for a challenge the Carnon Downs group jumped at the chance.
Members are raising money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research through the production – the same charity that the work of the original Calendar Girls has supported ever since, in memory of Miss February’s husband John Baker who died from non-Hodgkin lymphoma in July 1998 aged 54.
To accompany the show Carnon Down members have produced their very own calendar to sell, to help boost their fundraising. They have released a sneak peak at some of the images that will appear in the calendar. At the last count the total raised by members so far was over £1,000, already surpassing all expectation.
This has been achieved by members entering local carnivals and packing bags in supermarkets. The biggest challenge of all was completed by Peter Gummow, whose wife Elaine is producing the show.
He competed in the London Bikeathon, a 52-mile bike ride, taking in part of the Olympic route. The group is now putting the finishing touches to the production, which will run from next Wednesday, October 17 until Saturday, October 20.
The play will be performed from 7.30pm each night at Perranarworthal Memorial Hall. Tickets cost £7.50 and are available by calling 08454 500296.
Director Kath Frankland said: “It will take you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions; one minute you’ll be laughing the next you’ll be reaching for your tissues.”
Almost 600 amateur dramatic societies across the country are expected to stage Calendar Girls in the coming few months.