The Girls, Musical by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, to Premiere in West End | Playbill

News The Girls, Musical by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, to Premiere in West End The musical is based on the 2003 film Calendar Girls.
The Girls John Swannell

The Girls, a new musical by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth based on the 2003 film Calendar Girls, is set to begin performances at the West End's Phoenix Theatre January 28, 2017, prior to an official opening February 21.

The movie was previously adapted for the stage in a straight-play version that premiered at Chichester Festival Theatre in 2008 and subsequently transferred to the West End.

The musical is based on 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, and have to date raised over £4 million for Bloodwise.

As in the film and the play version, both also scripted by Firth, 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.

The musical had two sold-out runs at the Grand Theatre Leeds and the Lowry Salford in late 2015-early 2016.

The “Girls” will be played by Debbie Chazen as Ruth, Sophie-Louse Dann as Celia, Michele Dotrice as Jessie, Claire Machin as Cora, Claire Moore as Chris and Joanna Riding as Annie.

Also in the cast will be Joe Caffrey as Rod, Jeremy Clyde as Denis, John Davitt as Doctor, Soo Drouet as Brenda, James Gaddas as John, Jenny Gayner as Miss Wilson (coffee), Steve Giles as Lawrence, Maxwell Hutcheon as Colin, Shirley Jameson as Miss Wilson (tea), Marian McLoughlin as Marie, Judith Street as Lady Cravenshire and Jane Lambert, Rebecca Lewis, Victoria Blackburn and Frazer Hadfield, and introducing Josh Benson as Tommo, Ben Hunter as Danny and Chloe May Jackson as Jenny.

Barlow and Firth grew up in the same village in the north of England and have been friends for 25 years. With Take That, Barlow has written and co-written 14 number one singles, has sold over 50 million records worldwide and is a six-time Ivor Novello Award winner. He was recently represented on Broadway by his score for Finding Neverland.

Firth has won the Olivier Award and UK Theatre Award for Best New Musical for Our House, and the British Comedy Awards Best Comedy Film for Calendar Girls. His other plays include Neville's Island.

The musical will be directed by Firth, with musical staging by Lizzi Gee, 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, with casting by Sarah Bird.

The musical will be produced by David Pugh & Dafydd Rogers and The Shubert Organization, with U-Live as associate producer.

Bloodwise, the U.K.'s specialist blood cancer charity, will receive monies from this production.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 871 7629 or visit

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