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It’s over 13 years since the movement that is Calendar Girls’ was born, when the death of John Baker from non-Hodgkins’ Lymphoma, inspired his wife Angela and her friends to form the Calendar Girls.
A photography session with 12 brave women who dared to strip off for the camera in aid of charity resulted in a global phenomenon.
In the intervening 13 years, the story has hit the stage and screen worldwide, and the Yorkshire lot have gone on to raise over £3 million for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
It was an October night when they first took their clothes off for charity, and aptly it’ll be another October evening when they join forces for the big finale, Seasons of Love, at the Royal Albert Hall. The event takes place on Sunday, 7 October, starting at 6pm.
Devised and directed by Hugh Woodbridge, this one-off gala will bring together figures who have played a role in the Calendar Girls’ amazing story.
Introduced by Alan Titchmarsh, it will combine music, memories and laughter and, the organisers tell us, will include unseen footage of the girls at that initial photography session. Divert your eyes gentlemen.
Tim Firth, author of the stage show and co-writer of the film, which starred Helen Mirren and Julie Walters in a stellar cast, will also speak at the event.
Some of the biggest names from the West End will make appearances, among them Stephen Tompkinson, Crista Ackroyd and Lynda Bellingham; while surprise guests should also add a spark of excitement to the proceedings.
Contributions from the City of London Philharmonic, the West End Chorus, Stephen Disley and the Grand Organ of the Royal Albert Hall, will make this a truly unmissable gala.
The fact that it’s all in aid of charity makes it even more special, with the funds from the night going towards Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
The gala should attract people from all over the country, and for those wishing to make a weekend out of it, Jurys Inn London hotels offer affordable yet stylish accommodation.
Tickets for Seasons of Love range from £20-£55 and can be purchased through the Royal Albert Hall Box Office on 020 7589 8212 or online at www.royalalberthall.com/tickets.