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Daring to bare all

PUBLISHED: 16:43 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 17:21 16 August 2010

HAVING THEIR CAKE: Penelope Wilton Helen Mirren and Julie Walters.

HAVING THEIR CAKE: Penelope Wilton Helen Mirren and Julie Walters.

Not since the heady days of Oh! Calcutta! and Hair will there have been so much naked flesh freely on display in the West End.

Not since the heady days of Oh! Calcutta! and Hair will there have been so much naked flesh freely on display in the West End.

But in this case, there is unlikely to be any controversy and certainly no seediness when the stage version of awardwinning film Calendar Girls arrives in London this year.

While there will be up to 12 naked women of a certain age on stage at any one point, as with the film, there will be no full frontal nudity because of a combination of strategically placed cakes, aprons, bread bins and other kitchen essentials. The 2003 film starred Helen Mirren, Julie Waters and Celia Imrie in the true story of Yorkshire Women's Institute members who stripped off to pose for a charity calendar that became a huge hit.

The play stars the equally bankable Lynda Bellingham, Patricia Hodge and Sian Phillips in the lead roles. Tim Firth has adapted the screenplay he co-wrote for the film.

It opens at the Chichester Festival Theatre on 16 September and goes on a nationwide tour before reaching the West End, possibly in time for Christmas.

Co-producer David Pugh has wanted to turn the story into a play since first hearing about it.


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