67 Year-Old Understudy Makes West End Debut in Leading Role in Gary Barlow & Tim Firth's THE GIRLS
In spite of intensive medical treatment, Michele Dotrice, who has never missed a performance in her entire career, has been diagnosed with acute bronchitis and therefore unable to perform for the time being. The part of Jessie in Gary Barlow and Tim Firth's new British musical, The Girls, will now be played by Judith Street, who at 67 is making her West End debut in a leading role. For her, this is a dream come true.
THE GIRLS is based on the true story, the film and the award-winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls. Performances began at the Phoenix Theatre on 28 January 2017 and The Girls officially opens on Tuesday 21 February. The West End premiere follows sold-out runs at the Grand Theatre Leeds and the Lowry Salford late 2015/early 2016. In the West End, the producers have made a commitment to there being no 'premium-rated' seats, no booking fees and reduced price previews.
THE GIRLS is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who decide to appear nude for a Women's Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands, and have to date raised almost £5million for Bloodwise. This musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary.
Gary Barlow and Tim Firth grew up in the same village in the north of England and have been friends for 25 years. With Take That, Gary has written and co-written 14 number one singles, has sold over 50 million records worldwide and is a six times Ivor Novello Award winner. Tim has won the Olivier Award and UK Theatre Award for Best New Musical, and the British Comedy Awards Best Comedy Film for Calendar Girls.
THE GIRLS will be directed by Tim Firth, with musical staging by Lizzi Gee, comedy staging by Jos Houben, design by Robert Jones, lighting design by Tim Lutkin, sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster, musical direction and orchestrations by Richard Beadle, with casting by Sarah Bird, and associate producer is U-Live.
Bloodwise, the UK's specialist blood cancer charity, will receive monies from this production.