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Weekly Edition - Published 14 November 2015


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Gary Barlow and Tim Firth's new British musical:- 'The Girls'

THE full cast has been announced for Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new British musical, 'The Girls', based on the true story, the film and award winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls, which will have its world premiere at the Grand Theatre Leeds from Saturday, 14 November to Saturday, 12 December 2015 and at the Lowry Salford, now from Friday, 8 January to Saturday, 30 January 2016, the Lowry has had 5 extra performances have been added due to high ticket sales.

The cast will be led by Debbie Chazen as Ruth, Sara Kestelman as Jessie, Claire Machin as Cora, Claire Moore as Chris, Vivien Parry as Celia, Joanna Riding as Annie and Harriet Thorpe as Marie.  Debbie Chazen played Ethel Kingsley in Mike Leigh’s film Topsy Turvy and her many television credits include:- the lead roles of Annie in 'Smoking Room' and Kelly-Su Crabtree in 'Psychoville'. Sara Kestelman won an Olivier Award for her performance as Fraulein Schneider in Sam Mendes’ Cabaret at the Donmar; Sara has appeared extensively with the RSC, including:- playing Titania in Peter Brook’s landmark production of 'A Midsummer Night’s Dream.' She also created the role of Margrethe Bohr in Michael Frayn’s award winning 'Copenhagen.' Claire Machin’s credits include:- 'My Fair Lady', 'Mary Poppins', 'Betty Blue Eyes' and 'Memphis'. Claire Moore originated the role of Ellen in 'Miss Saigon. Her other credits include:- Christine in 'The Phantom of the Opera', Fantine and Madame Thenardier in 'Les Miserables' and the National Theatre’s award winning 'London Road.' Vivien Parry’s credits include:- Madge in the original cast of 'Top Hat', Donna in 'Mamma Mia!' and Mrs Johnston in 'Blood Brothers.' Joanna Riding won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical twice for her roles as Julie in 'Carousel' at the National Theatre and as Eliza Doolitle in 'My Fair Lady.' Harriet Thorpe’s many television roles include:- Carole in 'Brittas Empire' and Fleur in 'Absolutely Fabulous.' Her recent theatre credits include Great Britain, Wicked and Mamma Mia!.  Also in the cast will be Stephen Boswell ('Top Hat' in the West End) as Colin, Joe Caffrey ('The Pitmen Painters' for the National Theatre, and played the Father in 'Billy Elliott') as Rod, Jeremy Clyde (credits include:- 'The Alan Clark Diaries' and 'The Iron Lady') as Denis, Susan Fay as Brenda, James Gaddas (credits include:- 'Bad Girls' and 'Coronation Street') as John, Steve Giles as Lawrence, Shirley Jameson as Miss Wilson, Judith Street as Lady Cravenshire and Karen West as the other Miss Wilson, and introducing the previously announced Josh Benson as Tommo, Ben Hunter as Danny and Chloe May Jackson as Jenny.  'The Girls' is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands. This musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary. Gary Barlow and Tim Firth grew up in the same village in the north of England and have been friends for 25 years. With Take That, Gary has written and co-written 14 number 1 singles, has sold over 50 million records worldwide and is a 6 times Ivor Novello Award winner. Tim has won the Olivier Award and UK Theatre Award for Best New Musical, and the British Comedy Awards Best Comedy Film for Calendar Girls. 'The Girls' will be directed by Roger Haines and Tim Firth, with comedy staging by Jos Houben, design by Robert Jones, lighting design by Tim Lutkin, sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster, musical direction and orchestrations by Richard Beadle, associate producer U-Live, with casting by Sarah Bird. Bloodwise (formerly known as Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research) will receive monies from this musical. 'The Girls' will be produced by David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers and The Shubert Organization. 'The Girls' is working in partnership with Welcome to Yorkshire. 

To book tickets to see this show at Visit the Leeds Grand Thearter's website, or call in to the Box Office, at:- 46 New Briggate, Leeds, (LS1 6NZ), alternatively call:- 0844 848 2700.


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