Calendar Girls, Mayflower Theatre, review: ‘a storming success’

Calendar Girls will be at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, until January 19.
Calendar Girls will be at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, until January 19.

If the standing ovation at the end of Calendar Girls was anything to go by, the run will be a storming success.

If the standing ovation at the end of Calendar Girls was anything to go by, the run will be a storming success.

It’s beauty and trickery comes in the fact that we all know what is going to happen, and the calendar being made is one of the best sequences I’ve seen in a long time.

And boy, the audience were ready for it.

The first act is overly long, borne in part by the decisions taken about where to end the story. It felt stuffed with too much sentiment.  

However, scenes moved to the next with confidence in a minimal set, and well choreographed changes by the cast, but the scenes themselves – with so many characters saying the same type of thing with too easy humour about jam, Jerusalem, knitting and odd talks – blurred.

Luckily there’s a fine comic turn to be had from the teenage characters who offered a taste of drama and who had the lucky event of the most excellent number about their parents.

I struggled with the punch lines to more than one number, failing to catch what I was sure was eloquent and witty moments, and guffawed loudly at others.

Overall though, it’s a fun, if overly long, show about a subject we all know and love.

Plus, you get to see doyennes of British theatre like Ruth Madoc and Denise Welch strut their stuff.

Until January 19.