Report by: Peter Parlour (NODA Rep. District 6) on Wed 7 Nov 2013 Venue: Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond Director: Lynne Kerr
RADS very courageously performed this very popular play which is based on a true story. What a superb job they made of it. Performing in the Georgian Theatre where the audience are practically on the stage, the nude scenes were very carefully planned, and everyone involved was completely relaxed about shedding their clothes. Susan Limbert, as ‘Carol’, in particular, when sitting at the piano flicked her dressing gown up to reveal her bare bum. Every member of the cast revealed all (carefully hidden) without a flinch of embarrassment. The show was really a great success, making a lot of money for the society. Every performance was a sell-out, with many on a reserve list hoping for a ticket. ‘Annie’ was played by Ruth Shaw, ‘Celia’ was played by Julie Winn, standing up with the buns almost covering her. ‘John’ was played by Gary Winn, who shaved his head for the part. ‘Chris’ was well played by Moira Mason, and ‘Jessie’was played by the oldest member of the cast, Barbara Hughes, hiding behind her knitting. ‘Ruth’, although a little timid to perform certainly changing her mind as she hid behind her jams, was well played by Wendy Morris. Other parts, all well played, were ‘Marie’ (Linda Baldry), ‘Elaine’ (Michelle Booth), ‘Brenda Hulse’ (Sarah Seymour) and ‘LadyCravenshire’ (Suzy Brown). Other men in the play were Warnock Kerr as ‘Rod’, ‘Lawrence’ the photographer, the only man there at the ‘shoot’, was played by Ed Shackley, and ‘Liam’ was played by James Collingburn. Lynne Kerr did a super job to make the play the success it was.
When Annie Clarke's husband John dies from leukaemia at an early age, her close friend Chris, anxious to purchase a comfortable sofa for the visitors lounge in the hospital where he was treated, hits upon the idea of printing a calendar featuring some of the members of the Knapely chapter of the Women's Institute discreetly posing nude while engaged in everyday activities, such as baking and knitting, in order to raise funds. Her proposal initially is met with great scepticism, but she eventually convinces ten women to participate in the project with her.
The head of the local WI chapter refuses to sanction the calendar, and Chris and Annie go to a national congress of the WI in London to plead their case. They are told the final decision rests with the local leader, who grudgingly agrees to the calendar's sale. The initial printing quickly sells out, and before long the tiny village is bombarded with members of the international media anxious to report the feel-good story.