Wednesday 20 September 2017

Actress steps into the spotlight with West End debut aged 67

Understudy Judith Street, centre, who plays Jessie, after making her West End debut in a leading role at the age of 67, with members of the original Calendar Girls
Understudy Judith Street, centre, who plays Jessie, after making her West End debut in a leading role at the age of 67, with members of the original Calendar Girls

A 67-year-old actress has made her West End debut after replacing a lead star in the musical adaptation of Calendar Girls.

Understudy Judith Street took over from Michele Dotrice in the prominent role of Jessie on Friday night after Dotrice was diagnosed with acute bronchitis.

Renamed The Girls, the musical was created by Take That star Gary Barlow and writer Tim Firth, and is based on the true story which inspired the 2003 film.

A group of women decide to appear nude for a Women's Institute calendar to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital in memory of one their husbands. To date t hey have raised almost £5 million for charity.

The musical comedy shows life in the Yorkshire village and the effect the calendar has on their families.

Street was pictured with her co-stars and some of the original Calendar Girls following her debut.

On the actresses leading role debut, Barlow and Firth said: "Having seen Judith in rehearsals, how lucky we are that an actress such as she will be playing the part of Jessie."

:: The Girls officially opens at London's Phoenix Theatre on Tuesday and runs until April 22.

Press Association

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