Only a few days left until the Calendar Girls take to the stage

Athlone Little Theatre’s latest production, the award winning Calendar Girls opens next Monday night, May 20, in the Dean Crowe Theatre, Athlone at 8pm.

This is sure to be one of the most popular pieces of theatre to grace the Athlone stage for a very long time and the buzz about town is electric.

This is certainly one production not to be missed and promises an entertaining night out - whether it be a girl’s night out, a work night out, or a romantic evening with the hubby!

The story will be well known to audiences having been made into a hugely successful film starring the likes of Helen Mirren and Julie Walters. It tells the true story of a group of WI ladies who rally round after the death of the husband of one of their group from cancer and decide to do something to raise funds for a settee in his memory.

They come up with a most daring and innovative idea to raise the funds by posing nude for photographs for a calendar which they will sell.

The story, in modern parlance, went viral and became a worldwide sensation, which culminated in the making of a smash hit movie starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters.

It has now been turned into a wonderful stage play, to be performed by the brave and very talented ladies and yes, some gentlemen, of Athlone Little Theatre.

This play is the culmination of months of hard work and is the brainchild of local director Oliver Hegarty. Ollie was sure that he could get sufficient numbers of talented actresses to take on this mammoth task, even when others doubted, and he has been proved very right. The cast is a fantastic blend of youth and experience with the likes of Anne Hoey, Sally Knight, Anne Blackie, Stephanie Hudson, Martina Breen, Jenny Cooper, Joan Larkin, Sinead Connolly, Regina Bushell, and Leah Grace. They are ably assisted by Jarlath Duffy, Martin Kelleher, Declan Finn, and Paul Slevin.

With a production like this there is an unbelievable amount of hard work done behind the scenes. Ollie has gathered a remarkable team of dedicated and hardworking people who have given much time and effort for the cause including Paddy Martin, Pat Finneran, and Clive Darling who designed and constructed the set. Not forgetting the talented Anthony Quinn on lighting design and management, along with Mairead Cunningham on continuity and stage management.

The dedicated backstage crew of Caroline Burke, Sue Callaghan, Caroline Coyle, Jackie Cunnane, Margaret Egan, Mary Quigley, and Anne Tuohy are also to be thanked.

Also a big thanks goes to Ita McGuire, art teacher at St Mary’s National School, Athlone and their fourth and fifth class for making approximately 60 artificial sunflowers for the stage.

The play runs in the Dean Crowe Theatre from Monday May 20 to Thursday May 23 and booking is at (090 ) 6492129 or log on to www.deancrowetheatre.com

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