Lesley Joseph, star of Birds of a Feather and Young Frankenstein, will join the UK and Ireland tour of the hit musical Calendar Girls later this year.
Tim Firth and Gary Barlow's piece, which 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, previously played in Leeds and Manchester before a six-month London season at the Phoenix Theatre in 2017. It went on to win the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Regional Production and was nominated for three Olivier Awards.
Joseph will play Jessie and joins a new cast featuring Sarah Jane Buckley (Blood Brothers) as Annie, Sue Devaney (Dinnerladies) as Cora, Julia Hills (Broadchurch) as Ruth, Judy Holt (Cold Feet) as Marie and Lisa Maxwell (Hollyoaks) as Celia. She previously appeared as Chris in the non-musical version of the show, also penned by Firth.
The new cast will begin performances in Southend on 23 April, and Joseph will stay with the production until 10 August, at which point Ruth Madoc will return to the musical. Calendar Girls has direction by Matt Ryan, design by Robert Jones, comedy staging by Jos Houben, movement by Lucy Hind, lighting by Oliver Fenwick, orchestrations by Steve Parry and casting by Sarah Bird.
In 2019 the tour will visit Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, Glasgow, Nottingham, Bristol, Plymouth, Eastbourne, Bournemouth, Wolverhampton, Northampton, Blackpool, Ipswich and Chester.