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Calendar Girls - Milton Keynes Theatre Review by Steven Gordon-Wilson, our Arts & Culture Columnist

Calendar Girls - Milton Keynes Theatre

Until Saturday 21st October

A star cast and a tear-jerking true story combine in Milton Keynes this week for a fun night out at the theatre. A small Yorkshire Women's Institute guild have their lives shaken when the beloved husband of one of their members passes away. Chris - The rebel of the group (who "only joined the WI to impress her Mother-in-Law anyway") hits upon a fundraising idea which would put paid to the Jam and Jerusalem image of the WI forever... and you know the rest...

Chris is played by Amy Robbins - the stand out star of the piece - expertly balancing comedy, drama, laughter and tears. Providing the steadying hand to (at least try) to keep Chris in check - Marie is played by West End star Paula Tappenden who is also a real highlight of the show.

A few first night bumps can't go unmentioned...sound levels a little off throughout meant that Gary Barlow's excellent and clever lyrics were sometimes missed. A creeping cold seemed to be affecting the voices of some of the cast too (and indeed meant that Lyn Paul's role was played by an understudy who, whilst excellent, was too young to be playing the matriarchal Jessie so didn't quite land convincingly).

All in all, a fun night out at the theatre. For fans of the 1993 film, a chance to see a well staged new interpretation. For theatre fans, the opportunity to see some true West End stars doing what they do best.

3 Stars Tickets and info here.

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