The show also announced that it has grossed a combined £21 million at box offices across the country, surpassing the box office takings of the 2003 Calendar Girls film which starred Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, Penelope Wilton and Celia Imrie.
The play, which won the Whatsonstage.com Award for Best New Comedy last year, becomes the most successful play ever to tour the UK, breaking the previous box office record set by Nigel Havers in the acclaimed production of Daphne du Mauriers' Rebecca. The show's producers David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers have also announced that 2011 will see the production's final tour before they release the amateur rights in 2012.
Danielle Lineker, who is also known by her maiden name Danielle Bux and joined the daytime panel show Loose Women last year, makes her stage debut as Elaine.
She is joined in the cast by Lynda Bellingham (original cast of Calendar Girls) as Chris – Miss October, Jennifer Ellison (Chicago in the West End and on tour) as Celia – Miss September, Trudie Goodwin (televisions The Bill) as Annie – Miss February, Ruth Madoc (Hi-De-Hi! and Little Britain) as Marie, Bernie Nolan (One of The Nolans and TV’s The Bill) as Cora – Miss July, Lisa Riley (Emmerdale) as Ruth – Miss November, Gwen Taylor (Yes, Prime Minister and Heartbeat) as Jessie – Miss January, and Diana Moran as Lady Cravenshire.
Tim Firth’s adaptation of Calendar Girls tells the real-life story of the members of a Yorkshire chapter of the Women’s Institute who decide to pose nude for a charity calendar. Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, Penelope Wilton and Celia Imrie starred in the 2003 screen original, also written by Firth.
Having opened in Bristol, the 2011 tour of Calendar Girls plays dates in Dublin, Manchester, Southend, Leeds, Sunderland, Milton Keynes completing its run in Birmingham on 16 April 2011. The show is directed by Roger Haines with Jack Ryder as Associate Director, set design by Robert Jones, with lighting by Tim Lutkin, costumes by Jack Galloway and music by Steve Parry.
In other casting news, Hampstead Theatre have announced the full casting for their Christmas production of Beasts and Beauties which opens at the venue on 15 December (previews from 10 December) and runs until 31 December 2010.
Directed by Melly Still, whose stage credits include Grimm Tales and More Grimm Tales for the Young Vic as well as Coram Boy at the National and on Broadway, Beasts and Beauties is a collection of stories suitable for all the family, retold by Carol Ann Duffy the Poet Laureate, with whom Still worked on her Grimms productions.
The ensemble cast has been announced as Elaine Claxton (Nation at the National Theatre), Jack Tarlton (A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Propeller), Kelly Williams (Cinderella at the Lyric Hammersmith), Justin Avoth (Moliere Finborough), Jason Thorpe (Nation for the National), Emily Mytton (Every Good Boy Deserves Favour at the National), Rhiannon Harper-Rafferty (National Poetry Day Recital for the RSC) and Al Nedjari (War Horse at the National and in the West End).
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