Just tea and cakes to protect their modesty..

(Back l-r) Linda Margereson, Sue Lane, Helen Bluck, (Front l-r) Janet Reeves, Kath Weeks and Elaine Hepworth, all of Woodhouse Phoenix theatre group, are performing Calendar Girls. Picture: Andrew Roe
(Back l-r) Linda Margereson, Sue Lane, Helen Bluck, (Front l-r) Janet Reeves, Kath Weeks and Elaine Hepworth, all of Woodhouse Phoenix theatre group, are performing Calendar Girls. Picture: Andrew Roe

A DONCASTER theatre group is baring all as they get ready for one of the country’s first ever amateur productions of Calendar Girls.

The Woodhouse Phoenix group has stripped off to promote their show and the calendar they are producing in the style of the North Yorkshire WI ladies whose story was made into a hit film.

Cakes, teapots and a teddy bear are just some of the props in place to protect their modesty in the calendar they’re preparing to shoot in the next few weeks.

Director Sue Lane, 64, decided that the show would be perfect for Hatfield Woodhouse Village Hall and jumped at the chance to be among the first to put it on.

She said: “We have already chosen the cast and have started rehearsing the scene where some of us will be getting undressed. I think we’re beginning to lose our inhibitions.

“It will be a scene that needs a lot of time as we want to make sure it’s tasteful - we don’t want to shock our audiences but it’s no more than you would see on a beach!

“We have had a few comments from people saying that they don’t want to see it as it’s rude. But I think it’s mainly people who just don’t really know what the show’s about.”

The only other groups which can beat the Hatfield am-dram group to the stage with the show is one in North Yorkshire - which was awarded special permission to put it on the day before the release date as it has links with John Baker - whose death from non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1998 inspired the original calendar.

Retired nurse Sue added: “Personally, I didn’t like the film as much as the play. I thought the ideas of the women who started it all were wonderful. In the play version, it’s similar but you don’t get the part of them going off to America.”

The Woodhouse Phoenix group hopes to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research by donating profits from their calendar and a raffle to be held at the show, as well as a contribution from the fees they paid for the rights from Samuel French Ltd.

Sue said: “Ticket sales are going fast - with many seats already sold for the Saturday night performance. We were disappointed to miss out on our world premiere plans but we believe we are the first amateurs in South Yorkshire to perform this play. We are still going ahead with our premiere night on the opening night.”

The premiere night will start on September 1, with a three-course meal included at £24. Shows will take place on September 2, 7 and 8 with tickets costing £7.

To book tickets, call Colin Hepworth on 01302 840437.