ACT Theatre Reviews 2021-2022

The husbands of those feisty women are Rob, Dennis and Colin. Paul Dawson, who knows his way around a script, undertook the role of Rob. Supportive Denis was in the safe hands of Keith McEvoy, and Colin, Jessie’s significant other, was entertainingly portrayed by Stephen Moss. The storyline of the love-sick teenagers, Danny (Ethan Neale), aided and abetted by his pal Tommo (Sam Dawson), and Jenny (Isobel Cunliffe) was tenderly developed. Their contribution enhanced the plot. The Calendar is in memory of Annie’s husband, John, who has died from Cancer. Rob Haslam convincingly played John who set the path for the adventure on which the WI ladies embarked. Those ladies who sing “Jerusalem” and make home made products in the town of Rylstone unknowingly reinvented the W.I. Jill Ratcliffe was the rebel leader Chris, Dawn-Marie Nicholls was the timid Ruth until her “Russian friend” gives her confidence, Shirley Harrison was the retired schoolteacher, Jessie, who goes against “What age expects”, Elinor Hamilton was Celia, the ex-airhostess who admits “So I’ve had a little work done” to keep the looks. Loren Fagelman was Cora who adds new words “Who wants a silent night?” to that well known Christmas carol. Their W.I leader, the frosty Marie, was given the unsympathetic edge by Angela Grady. Tracy Dawson, as John’s wife, Annie, effectively captured the loss of her husband and the subsequent inner strength and drive to raise money for the hospital. Their team work shone through as they took the audience on a roller-coaster of emotions of tears and laughter. Calendar Girls, in all its formats, shines as a beacon and will be enjoyed in which ever presentation it is revived