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Comedy show helps raise £2,500

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: March 25, 2013

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AMATEUR thespians are celebrating after playing to packed houses with its production of the hit comedy Calendar Girls - and raising more than £2,500 for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.

Proceeds from a nightly raffle held during the Little Theatre Company show’s triumphant run at the town’s Brewhouse venue from March 12 to 16, added to the money raised by the group’s 2013 Burton Calendar Girls calendar and donations to the girls’ Just Giving page, have raised £2,649 for the charity.

Burton Calendar Girl Elaine Pritchard said: “We are thrilled to have beaten our fundraising target, which was £2,500.

“In these difficult economic times it’s a real tribute to the generosity of Burton people.”

The play is based on the story of the original Calendar Girls from a Yorkshire Womens’ Institute who raised funds by posing for an alternative WI nude calendar after the husband of one of the members died from Leukaemia.

In the play of Calendar Girls, as in the film which starred Helen Mirren and Julie Walters, audiences see the girls pose for their fund-raising calendar with just strategically-placed props - such as knitting, flowers and cakes - protecting their modesty.

Lesley Mason, of The Mug Tug at Barton Marina, was so impressed with the bravery of the amateur actresses playing the six main roles that she hand-painted jugs for them as a gift.

Each jug featured sunflowers and pearls and a picture relevant to each girl’s onstage calendar pose.

Handing over the jugs at the after-show party for the cast, family and friends, she said: “The original calendar girls only had to strip off once for their calendar.

“You have done it for six performances as well as for your own charity calendar. I am really proud of you and the funds you have raised for such an important charity.”

The Little Theatre Company’s cast had received signed good luck messages from playwright Tim Firth and the actresses who brought Calendar Girls to the stage in Derby late last year – including Ruth Madoc, Lesley Joseph, Kacey Ainsworth, Deena Payne, Sue Holderness and Camilla Dallerup.

Elaine Pritchard, who played ‘Ruth’, said: “We’ve been doing our own fund-raising since September for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, which has included our own cheeky Calendar Girls-style calendar.

“So getting the signed messages of good luck was a real boost.”

During the week of the show, there was a fund-raising raffle every night in the bar and the chance to make donations to the Burton Calendar Girls fund.

More information is available at www.justgiving.com/BurtonCalendarGirls or for tickets call 01283 508100.

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