Gallery/Hollesley: Make a date with Peninsula Productions’ Calendar Girls

Peninsula Productions stage Calendar Girls this week

Peninsula Productions stage Calendar Girls this week - Credit: Archant

Make a date with fledgling amateur dramatic group Peninsula Productions, which is staging Tim Firth’s Calendar Girls at Hollesley Village Hall tonight and tomorrow.

Raising funds for the Addenbrookes Charitable Trust and Chordoma UK

Raising funds for the Addenbrookes Charitable Trust and Chordoma UK - Credit: Archant

Raising funds for the Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust and Chordoma UK, director Mark Dovey decided to put on the story of a WI group who bare all for a charity calendar after his wife was treated for cancer at the Cambridgeshire hospital.

“I set the group up myself mainly because when I applied for the licence I thought I ought to have a name and quickly plucked something out of the air. It’s that new... we’re not even six months old and this is the first production we’re doing,” he says.

“My wife had cancer last year and I suppose I felt - I do amateur dramatics anyway – I wanted to do this particular production. The play’s about local people so it was nice to bring people in from the Deben players, Hollesley Players and some people who have never been on stage. We also brought in the WI.”

His choice in show hasn’t gone down well with everybody though.

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“Somebody phoned up and said ‘are you the chap that’s doing Calendar Girls’ and I said ‘yes’. He said ‘I think it’s disgraceful you’re doing something like Calendar Girls in rural Suffolk’ and put the phone down. That was it. It makes you more determined actually.”

Sam Harvey, who plays Miss October Chris, is looking forward to the show.

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“It’s such a wonderful poignant story so well written. We’re still laughing after four months of rehearsals.”

Is she worried about baring more than her soul on stage?

“Mark put the idea in my head and just left it there. I thought about it and said to my husband ‘I’ve been asked to be in Calendar Girls; he said ‘I’ll have a ticket’ so I thought go for it,” she laughs.

“Feeling as if you are actually baring all, knowing there’s nothing behind what’s in front of you and if there’s a mishap you’re on there on your own but we rehearsed it so well and it’s such good fun... if it goes wrong it goes wrong, hay ho, oh well.

“We’ve got such a lovely team. There are people out there who are my village neighbours who I have never met before and we all work together and make sure everybody is covered. Doing it exactly where we have to do it.”

Mark says the technically complicated disrobing scenes are extremely hard work; although it’s helped seeing other local productions.

“We sat there week after week, running it through, adjusting the bums and things like that. I think we’ve just about got it right now...”

A charity calendar featuring the cast will also be available to buy at shows and local outlets.

“It was fun,” laughs Sam. “It was nerve-wracking at first, we got here at six in the morning, started shooting at eight and we were thinking ‘oh no’ but it was a lovely warm day and we all just knew we were all in the same boat. We did the Christmas one to begin with and once we got that one out of the way it was ‘wa-hay, let’s go’ and we got really artistic from then on.

“The show and calendar are for very good causes, it’s a wonderful idea to be able to raise money for them.”

Tickets, priced £10, are available by calling 01394 410500 or visiting Hollesley Shop. The show starts at 7.30pm with a 2.30pm matinee tomorrow.

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