Gary Barlow's Calendar Girls to play Sunderland Empire

Make a date for your diary when Fern Britton heads up an all-star cast for Calendar Girls' return to the Sunderland Empire.

Friday, 19th January 2018, 11:59 am
Updated Friday, 19th January 2018, 12:00 pm
Gary Barlow and Tim Firth with the cast of Calendar Girls

Penned by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth, the new tour, based on a true life tale, will run at the theatre from March 19-23, 2019.

It will star television presenter Fern Britton, returning to the stage for the first time in 30 years, as Marie, Lorraine Bruce (from Kay Mellor’s The Syndicate) as Cora, Anna-Jane Casey (Billy Elliot on tour,) as Annie, Sara Crowe (West End roles include Bedroom Farce,) as Ruth, Ruth Madoc ( from Hi-De-Hi, Little Britain and Gypsy) as Jessie, Rebecca Storm (discovered by Willy Russell and cast as Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers) as Chris and Denise Welch (The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Coronation Street and Waterloo Road) as Celia.

The cast for the new tour of Calendar Girls

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The critically-acclaimed and award-winning production played a six-month London season at the Phoenix Theatre last year, and, before that, this musical comedy played sold-out seasons in Leeds and Manchester.

Tim Firth said: “To be given a chance to revisit Calendar Girls The Musical is a unique opportunity. Gary [Barlow] and I have been working away and, as the great Stephen Sondheim said, ‘musical comedies aren’t written, they are rewritten’.”

Gary Barlow added: “What a phenomenal new cast we have. Tim and I sat in - and indeed played - on the auditions and have been so lucky to have put together such talented ladies.”

Tickets will go on sale at 10am on Wednesday, January 24 from 0844 871 3022 or

The cast for the new tour of Calendar Girls