Thursday, July 7

Tag: Celia Bonner

Calendar Girls – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

Calendar Girls – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

The traditional view of that redoubtable British institution, The Women’s Institute (or WI to its friends), is one of middle-class ladies of a certain age baking and knitting in a cosy village environment, far from the struggles of the real world. Subverting this stereotype, a branch from Yorkshire decided to produce an ‘Alternative WI Calendar’ to raise money for a new sofa in the wait room of a local hospital, following the cancer diagnosis of a friend. The twist was that all the ladies appeared in various states of undress whilst posing in a variety of mundane activities. The idea was a runaway success, eventually raising over £3,000,000 for Leukaemia Research and subsequently spawning a successful play, film and this stage musical in 2015. Penned by Tim Firth (Kinky Boots, Neville’...
The Lady in the Van – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

The Lady in the Van – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

In common with most people who love the theatre, I adore the prodigious output of plays, books and diaries that Alan Bennett has produced over the course of the last half century, however, I have never really subscribed to the view that he belongs in the pantheon of comfortable personalities that make up our 'National Treasures'. Bennett himself despises the term, and there has always been as much vinegar as sugar in his writing as he wryly chronicles the state of the nation, so to bracket him with as characters as bland as David Beckham and Joanna Lumley, is to give a somewhat distorted view of his place in modern Britain. His style is perfectly exemplified by his 1999 play 'The Lady in the Van', which started its week long run at the Garrick Playhouse in Altrincham this evening, in this...