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Thursday 27 October 2016

'Proper Northerner' sought for role

Published 09/06/2015 | 12:56

The original Calendar Girls sparked a craze for nude fundraising
The original Calendar Girls sparked a craze for nude fundraising

Take That star Gary Barlow is searching for a "proper Northerner" to play a role in his new musical inspired by the Women's Institute's Calendar Girls.

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The Girls, written by Barlow and Tim Firth, is based on the true story of a group of WI members from North Yorkshire who famously posed semi-nude in a charity calendar.

The writers are now looking for an actor to play the part of the 17-year-old son of Miss September in the musical, which opens in Leeds in November.

Auditions for the part of Tommo - described as "a great lad, a sportsman, good-looking, cocky and girl mad but unfortunately still a virgin" - will be held in Leeds and Manchester later this month.

Barlow and Firth said: " We want a proper Northerner to play this role and where better to look than Leeds and Manchester where there is such an enormous wealth of talent. Best of luck lads."

David Pugh, the multi award-winning West End and Broadway producer, said: "This is an incredible opportunity for a young actor to play such a smashing part that Tim and Gary have written in this wonderful new musical."

Members of the Rylstone and District WI created the calendar in 1999 after John Baker, husband of Angela Knowles, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and later died from the illness.

The calendar inspired a host of imitators, raised millions of pounds for charity and was immortalised in the hit movie Calendar Girls, starring Helen Mirren.

The original Miss September in the calendar was Christine Clancy, who was pictured pouring tea from a pot.

A spokesman for musical said: "The Girls 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 to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands.

"This musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary."

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