THEY are the calendar stars whose performances helped raise more than £1,200 for charity.
Members of the Portsmouth-based CCADS – Corpus Christi Amateur Dramatic Society – were given the chance to perform the hit stage show Calendar Girls at Southsea’s Kings Theatre earlier this month.
All the royalties across the three nights were donated to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research as part of a nationwide effort.
The producers of the stage show gave permission to local drama societies across the country to perform the show and raise money in the process.
And the society actresses turned into real-life calender girls when they produced their own version of the iconic calender for charity.
The Calendar Girls story focuses on a group of middle-aged women at the Knapely WI, who produce a charity calendar featuring tasteful nude photographs of its members.
They are given the inspiration after the husband of one of its members dies from leukaemia.
Maria Pegden, secretary of the society, said the cast became emotionally attached to their characters and director John-Paul McCrohon visited the Yorkshire town where it is based to capture the true essence of the play.
She said: ‘The cast were absolutely over the moon with the show.
‘They got so emotional and involved with the characters – they were bawling their eyes out at the end of the run.
‘There are at least four other drama groups performing it from now until the end of November.
‘They are trying to get as many companies to perform the show, with all the funds going to Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
‘The director went up to the original area where they all lived. Their foresight has raised so much money for good causes.’
Director John-Paul McCrohon said: ‘We are delighted to have been a small part of the inspiring Calendar Girls story by producing a memorable production that brought joy and struck a chord with all who saw it, following in the girls’ footsteps by creating a calendar that has, so far, raised £1,210 for the Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.’
Sandra Smith, from the Kings Theatre, said: ‘It’s fantastic as they are a local company.
‘They are so professional and the feedback we have received has been such worthy praise.
‘They really made it a fantastic evening for the audience.
‘We all knew the story and it’s very emotional.
‘It was uplifting and we were very pleased to have them here at the theatre and the response we have had is praise.
‘We know people who have got the illness or who are going through difficulties.
‘It’s brilliant for something like that to support a charity.’
Calendars are available at £10 each from the society’s website ccads-theatre.co.uk. All proceeds will go to Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.