Calendar Girls

Date 26th October 2012
Society Cobham Players
Venue Cobham Village Hall
Type of Production Play
Director Rodney Pearson

Report

Author: Jim Hatley

As is well known, ‘Calendar Girls is based on a true story, and Tim Firth has developed this quite brilliantly into a comedy/drama, originally as a film and now as a stage play.      The whole concept of staging this in a ‘village hall’ environment was well planned.  The very large stage extension (much larger than many would probably have dared consider) really gave the feel of a typical church hall, which could not have been achieved within the confines of the actual fairly small stage.  The back-projection of images onto a cyclorama at the back of the stage was a masterly idea.  A great deal of thought and research will have gone into the selection of the actual images, and this successfully obviated the need for conventional scenery.  The progression between scenes was slick, with good covering music, and  both cast and stage crew were well-rehearsed in moving the various pieces of stage furniture and properties into position so that this all seemed to be part of the action.   This play calls for quite a large cast, and Cobham Players fielded a very strong team.  The characterisations were constructively developed to portray the varied mix of individuals that you would expect to find in a typical W.I. branch.  Everyone was totally believable.  And a special mention on the northern accents – clearly  a lot of work had been put into getting these right.  To my southern ear, they sounded very convincing, and well sustained too.   The wardrobe department did well – the various costumes were all well-suited to the characters, and it was particularly note-worthy that there were plenty of costume changes, reflecting both the passage of time and that these people would have tried to avoid coming to various meetings and functions in the same attire.   The props team was kept very busy for this show, and did a fine job.  A great many ‘props’ are called for:  there were plenty of them, and all very realistic.  The sound and projection were well integrated with the action so that it all flowed smoothly.  The lighting too was well planned and executed.  A lot more cues and special effects in this play than is perhaps usual, but all adding up to achieving the right atmosphere all the way through.   This was overall an excellent production, with very little that could have been improved upon.  Congratulations to everyone involved!