THE SCOTTISH premiere of saucy stage show Calendar Girls is to be performed exclusively by East Kilbride Rep Theatre this autumn.
The town’s oldest amateur theatre club is thrilled to be the first in the country to bring Tim Firth’s quirky comedy to the stage on September 5.
Based on the award-winning 2003 film starring Dame Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, Calendar Girls is the true story of six extraordinary women who spark a global phenomenon by persuading one another to pose for a nude charity calendar.
Overcoming their initial reserve, the friends, who are members of a very ordinary Woman’s Rural Institute (WRI) in the Yorkshire Dales, drop their dressing gowns. Their modesty is spared by artfully placed cakes, knitting and flower arrangements, but as interest escalates, the Calendar Girls find themselves revealing more than they had ever planned.
Retired gran-of-seven, Eileen McKenna, from Westwood, beat off stiff competition from 20 hopefuls to land the role of feisty teacher Jessie.
The sprightly senior citizen, who has performed with the EK Rep for 35 years, told the News she has no problem baring (almost) all in front of her hometown.
Eileen said: “I’m up for the challenge.
“I went into this knowing that we do things in the Rep as well as they can be done, and I know I’m in comfortable hands.
“I’m up for the nudity as it’s more about what you portray than what is actually seen – rehearsals have been a giggle.
“It’s a great play about real women, which is why my character is so easy to play.
“My grandchildren have all been laughing at their all-singing, all-dancing grandmother.”
Eileen, who describes the EK Rep as “the love of her life” says although the show is light-hearted fun, it also delivers an important message.
She added: “The story is about beating cancer and everyone is committed to that aspect of it. The play is very well written and, I think, cleverer than the film.”
Proceeds from the Village Theatre production will go towards Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, and the Kilbryde Hospice.
EK Rep president and director Jean Macmillan said: “Everybody is up for the challenge. The nudity is more in the imagination than in reality, so we’re working on disguising things with strategically placed items, like cakes and a piano.
“The women just need to be measured up to see if the props fit!”
Calendar Girls runs at the Village Theatre from September 5–8.
Tickets are already selling fast for the weekend productions so it’s advised to book early to avoid disappointment.
Tickets are priced £7.50/£5.50.
Contact the box office on 01355 248669/261000.