FERN BRITTON Marie
Fern is probably best known for her years co-presenting ITV's flagship daytime show This Morning with Philip Schofield. Fern started in current affairs and news as a reporter and presenter. She covered the Queen's 80th birthday celebrations and reported from Basra during the Iraq war. She successfully switched to light entertainment, with iconic shows like Ready Steady Cook, All Star Mr And Mrs and took part in Strictly Come Dancing. She recently presented the 7th series of her Sunday morning BBC show Ferm Britton Meets where past guests have included Tony Blair, Desmond Tutu and Dolly Parton. Recent shows have included 2 series of The Big Allotment Challenge for BBC2, For What It's Worth, an antiques-based quiz show on BBC1 and Culinary Genius for ITV. She will be hosting a new show for ITV - A Right Royal Quiz.
Her autobiography Fern: My Story went to number four in the Sunday Times best seller list and her seven novels have had similar success, selling over a million copies.
Fern is a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping Magazine and cycles hundreds of miles a year raising money for charity.
ANNA-JANE CASEY Annie
Anna-Jane Casey hails from Lancashire and has recently appeared in the West End production of Stepping Out and as Mrs Wilkinson in the international tour of Billy Elliot.
She came to London at 16 to play Rumpleteaser in Cats. She appeared in the original London casts of Children of Eden, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Out of the Blue and Grease. She played Buffy, Dinah and Pearl in Starlight Express, Anita in West Side Story, Velma Kelly in Chicago, Mickey in My One And Only and Frankie Frayne in On Your Toes.
Recent theatre credits include: Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot (UK & International Tour); Mavis in Stepping Out (Vaudeville Theatre); Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun (Sheffield Crucible); Violet Butterfield in Flowers For Mrs Harris (Sheffield Crucible), Lottie in Mack & Mabel (Chichester & UK Tour), Jerry’s Girls (St James Theatre), Mrs Wilkinson in Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace Theatre), Aladdin in Aladdin (Hackney Empire), Courtesan in Comedy of Errors (Open Air Theatre Regents Park), Ella Peterson in Bells are Ringing (Union Theatre) receiving WOS Nomination for Best Actress in a Musical and OFFIE nomination for Best Actress, Olive James in Radio Times (Watermill, Newbury), Jenny in Company (Sheffield Crucible) and Lady of the Lake in Spamalot (Playhouse Theatre).
Anna-Jane played the title role in Sweet Charity at the Sheffield Crucible (Best Actress nomination at the 2003 TMA Awards) and was invited back to the Crucible to play the title role in Pam Gems’ Piaf. She played Dot in Sunday in the Park with George (Menier Chocolate Factory), Maggie in Hobson’s Choice and Mabel in Mack and Mabel (both, Watermill, Newbury) receiving the 2005 TMA award for Best Performance in a Musical for Mack & Mabel.
Film and television include: Family Guy in the episode Downton Stewie as Stewie’s English mother, Amy in The Royal, Shirley Walker in Doctors, Sophie in Eastenders, Linda Kemp in The Bill, Beyond the Sea directed by Kevin Spacey and also guest lead roles in Heartbeat and Holby City.
Anna Jane recently joined the CBSO for their Friday Night Classic’s Music of James Bond Concert and with The John Wilson Orchestra she was principal soloist on the 2014 UK tour of Cole Porter in Hollywood, at the 2012 Proms in John Wilson’s Broadway Sound and at the 2010 Rodgers and Hammerstein Prom. She also joined the orchestra with Curtis Stigers, Seth MacFarlane and Michael Parkinson for BBC’s Hollywood Swinging Christmas 2010.
She also appears in her own cabaret show both national and internationally.
SARA CROWE Ruth
Most recently: How The Other Half Lives (UK Tour), Queers at the Old Vic, Noises Off (Mercury theatre Colchester) Fallen Angels on tour, Radio Times the Musical, The City Madam (The Swan, RSC), Bedroom Farce (Duke of Yorks), Calendar Girls (Noel Coward Theatre), The Real Inspector Hound & Black Comedy (Comedy Theatre), The Constant Wife (Lyric Theatre), A Busy Day (Lyric Theatre), Dames at Sea (Ambassadors Theatre), Hay Fever (Albery Theatre) for which she received an Olivier nomination for Best Comedy Performance, My Best Friend (Hampstead Theatre), Relative Values (Savoy Theatre), Plunder (Savoy Theatre), Henceforward (Vaudeville Theatre), Twelfth Night (Playhouse Theatre), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Regents Park), Who’s the Daddy? and A Right Royal Farce (King’s Head), Private Lives (Aldwych Theatre) for which she received the Olivier award for Best Supporting Actress, the Variety Club Best Actress Award, and the Critics Circle Most Promising Newcomer Award.
On Tour: Crush the Musical, A Woman of No Importance (RSC), The Country Wife (English Touring Theatre), Lord Arthur Saville’s Crime & The Constant Wife (Bill Kenwright), Donkeys Years by Michael Frayn and Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person Singular. Sara played Miss Babs in the tour of Acorn Antiques the Musical by Victoria Wood.
Television credits include: Born and Bred, Haggard, Big Meg Little Meg, Alas Smith and Jones; The Harry Enfield Show, Scarlett, the TV sequel to Gone With the Wind, The Green Green Grass, Eastenders, Skins and most recently Midsomer Murders.
Film credits include: Four Weddings & a Funeral, Carry on Columbus, Caught in the Act and Round Ireland with a Fridge.
She is also a writer and her novels Campari For Breakfast and Martini Henry are published by Transworld.
KAREN DUNBAR Cora
Karen is best known to audiences for BBC1 Scotland’s sketch shows The Karen Dunbar Show and Chewin’ The Fat. The Karen Dunbar Show received two coveted Golden Rose nominations for Best Comedy Show and Karen herself two personal nominations for Best Comedy Performance. She also opened the 2014 Commonwealth Games to an audience of over one billion viewers.
Theatre credits include: Shakespeare Trilogy (Donmar Warehouse & St Ann’s Warehouse, New York), Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical (Edinburgh Playhouse), Henry IV (Donmar Warehouse & St Ann’s Warehouse, New York), Happy Days (Mayfesto – Tron Theatre), The Guid Sisters (NTS at Lyceum Edinburgh and Kings Theatre), Men Should Weep (National Theatre London), The Pirates of Penzance (Richmond Theatre & Theatre Royal), The Vagina Monologues (Edinburgh Playhouse and Theatre Royal), A Drunk Woman Looks at The Thistle (Òran Mór & The Assembly Rooms).
Film credits include: Mary, Queen of Scots (Focus Features/ Working Title), JACK (Short) (Quigley Film) & Rice Paper Stars (Tartan Shorts).
RUTH MADOC Jessie
Ruth is well known for the iconic roles of Gladys Pugh in 9 series of Hi-De-Hi for the BBC & Dafydd’s Mum in Little Britain (also BBC). Other recent TV appearances include Bev in Casualty (BBC One), Mayor Mary Meyer in Stella (Sky One), Florence in Mount Pleasant (Sky One), and Rhiannon in Benidorm (ITV/Tiger Aspect).
Further TV credits include Alice Sutton in Doctors (BBC), Georgie in Big Top (BBC), Myrtie in Mine all Mine (ITV), Various roles in the comedy sketch show Revolver (BBC Scotland), Jean Price in Jack of Hearts (BBC Wales), Dorothy Hope in Animal Ark, Sybill Stamfordis in The Pale Horse (Anglia Television), Mrs Jones in The Famous Five (Fortman Productions/ITV), Miss Terry in Cluedo (Granada TV), Lynn in An Actor’s Life for Me (BBC), Mrs Morgan in Woof! (CITV), Betty Smith in Hunter’s Walk (ATV) and Mrs Jones in Oliver’s Travels (BBC).
Film Work includes the short film Journey Man (Wild Films) & Mrs Ifans in Very Annie Mary (Film Four / Dragon Pictures).
Theatre Credits include: Grandma Rose in The Wedding Singer (UK Tour), Matron in Be My Baby (Autumn tour 2016), Ada in You’re Never Too Old (Edinburgh Fringe), Older Dorothy Squires in Say it with Flowers (Sherman, Cymru), Marie in Calendar Girls (Various UK Touring), Miss Hannigan in Annie (UK Tour), The Vagina Monologues (UK Tour), Dorothy Brook in 42nd Street (UK Tour), Mrs Bardell in Pickwick The Musical (Apollo Leisure) and Mama Rose in Gypsy (Newpalm Productions).
REBECCA STORM Chris
Over the past 40 years Rebecca has established herself as one of the most popular Leading Ladies in Musical Theatre, playing demanding roles in – Evita, Les Miserables, Chess, Aspects Of Love, Piaf, Annie, Hello Dolly…
At 23 she auditioned for her first musical Blood Brothers and although a little young to play Mrs. Johnstone - Liverpudlian Catholic mother of seven children - author Willy Russell was so captivated by her voice he insisted Wardrobe & Make Up went to work to ‘age’ the young actress. Her portrayal of Mrs. Johnstone has become so popular that she still returns to the role after 34 years.
In 1992 Rebecca devised, co-directed and starred in Hollywood Ladies - a tribute to her many influences from the Silver Screen - among them Barbra Streisand, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews and Gracie Fields. Together with her company of fourteen singers & dancers she was awarded Best Musical Review ’92.
She was very proud to be invited to sing for the King of Norway at his Coronation in 1991, performed several times for the British Royal Family and more recently for Irelands’ President Michael D. Higggins.
Her recording career began in 1985 with a Top Twenty single Putting On The Show, which she performed on Top of the Pops. Rebecca has been presented with awards for her albums Ovation, Broadway By Storm and Ireland By Storm. Her CDs Celtic and Broadway and I Want To Know What Love Is were released by Sony Music and her latest album The Essential Rebecca Storm is a double CD consisting of a live recording of her sell out concert at Dublins’ Grand Canal (Bord Gáis Energy) Theatre and a studio album produced by her husband and Musical Director Kenny Shearer.
With numerous concerts, radio & TV appearances around the world, Rebecca enjoys a busy and varied career and after many years in London’s West End theatre world, Rebecca has now made Ireland her home and is more than thrilled with the honour of having her handprints set on the famous ‘Gaiety Theatre Walk Of Fame’.
Rebecca is absolutely delighted to return to her Yorkshire roots to play Chris in the fabulous new musical ‘Calendar Girls’, written by Gary Barlow & Tim Firth, touring extensively in the UK & Ireland.
DENISE WELCH Celia
Denise was born in Whitley Bay near Newcastle & started her career there at Live Theatre in Tom Hadaways Yesterday's Children.
Other theatre credits include; The Wind in the Willows at The London Palladium,Smack Family Robinson, Steel Magnolia National Tour, The Rise and Fall Of Little Voice at the Royal Exchange, the UK tour of Steel Magnolias, Smack Family Robinson at the Rose Theatre, Kingston and The Ancient Secret of Youth and The 5 Tibetans at the Bolton Octagon, Grease at the Haymarket in Leicester, Ruby in Yakety Yak at the Astoria Theatre.
Denise’s Television credits include; Home Team (Juggle Productions), Series regular role on Boy Meets Girl (Tiger Aspect), Holby City (BBC), Series regular roles on ITV's Coronation Street, BBC's Waterloo Road, BBC Two comedy Boy Meets Girl, Down to Earth, Soldier Soldier (ITV) and Spender (BBC), along with appearances in Benidorm (ITV), EastEnders (BBC), Inspector George Gently (BBC), Down To Earth (BBC), Born and Bred (BBC) and The Vice (BBC) Where the Heart Is (Yorkshire Television), The Bill (Talkback Thames) Denise was a regular panellist and anchor on hit ITV chat show Loose Women for ten years.
Film credits include; It’s A Lot, The Jealous God, Finding Fatimah and Burning Men.
Denise recently produced her own short film Black Eyed Susan which is currently on the festival circuit. She has written 2 personal memoirs and 2 novels. Her second, A Mothers Bond, has just been published.
Denise lives in Cheshire with her husband, the artist Lincoln Townley and her son Louis.
Her stepson Lewis lives in Spain and her son Matty is the lead singer of the Brit Award winning band The 1975.
SEBASTIAN ABINERI Colin
Sebastian started work aged 17 as an Acting ASM in weekly rep' at Folkestone and then went on to work for three seasons where he appeared in over 70 productions. He then joined Lindsay Anderson's Lyric Theatre Company where he was lucky enough to work with not only Lindsay but also Joan Plowright and Helen Mirren who headed a wonderful company.
Sebastian then joined Attenborough's Private Army (APA) which was a group of 40 young actors who underwent military training in order to replicate the gallant band of Paratroopers who held Arnhem Bridge depicted in the classic war movie ‘A Bridge Too Far’ directed of course by Richard Attenborough.
Sebastian has recently had a book published covering those experiences titled “The Boys from The Bridge” which is available from The Book Guild.
Sebastian's other film work includes Porridge and the first Sherlock Holmes film directed by Guy Ritchie.
Sebastian has been seen many times on television he played the lead in two of the BBC Play for Today series. He then played Wilfred Owen in Wilfred Owen & Siegfried Sassoon Out of Battle for the BBC with Simon Mackorkindale as Sassoon and is probably best remembered for his role as Dick the Groom in Flambards for YTV. He has also been in Coronation Street, EastEnders, The Bill, and many other TV productions. Most recently he was seen as Joey the Wig in EastEnders.
Sebastian has appeared many times in the theatre with his favourite roles being Captain Bluntschli in Arms and The Man for the Malvern festival. Bill Sykes in Oliver! (Theatre Clwyd). Joe Helliwell in When we are Married (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Stanley in Streetcar for the Manchester Library Theatre and Papa Gonzales in Summer & Smoke at the Apollo Theatre London directed by Adrian Noble starring Rosamund Pike. Most recently he appeared at The English Theatre Vienna in Beau Jest which he enjoyed greatly.
Sebastian led the successful campaign to save the Westcliff Palace Theatre from closure and has appeared there several times most notably as Willy Clarke in The Sunshine Boys and as Arthur Winslow in The Winslow Boy.
RICHARD ANTHONY-LLOYD Understudy
Richard was born in Yorkshire and trained at Guildford School of Acting.
In theatre, Richard’s roles include: Lucky Eric in Bouncers, Smee in Peter Pan, Robin in Dr Faustus, Billy Goose in Mother Goose, Elbow in Measure for Measure the Beast in Beauty and the Beast and Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof . His most recent theatre role was as Jim Smith in Godfrey’s Last Summer for Talking Stock.
In television, Richard played Bob Holdstock in Doctors and Draper in The Railway Children. He has also appeared in A Touch of Frost, Emmerdale, A Wing and a Prayer and Band of Gold. In film, he played garage worker Terry in Cold Enough for Snow.
Richard lives in Yorkshire with his wife and two young children, Alfie and Will.
ISABEL CASWELL Jenny
Isabel is a member of the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain and the Television Workshop in Nottingham.
Theatre credits: Castiza in The Revenger’s Tragedy (Nottingham Playhouse), William Shakespeare in My Second Best Bed (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Other Place, Stratford, as part of the RSC’s Dream Team Playmaking Festival), Toni in Instinct, Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web, Sarah in Female Transport (Television Workshop).
PHIL CORBITT John
Theatre includes: Geordie the Musical (Tyne Theatre), Manifesto for a New City (Northern Stage), Tyne (Live Theatre and Theatre Royal, Newcastle), Rendezvous (Live Theatre, Newcastle), Close the Coalhouse Door, Brassed Off (twice), Up Little Suzie, Good Golly Miss Molly (Oldham Coliseum), Looking For Buddy, Eight Miles High (Bolton Octagon), CARMEN (Stephen Joseph, Scarborough), Don Giovanni, Bouncers, From A Jack to A King (New Vic, Stoke), Good Golly Miss Molly (Royal Court, Liverpool), The Firework Maker’s Daughter, The Hired Man, Speed-The-Plow, The Good Companions (Theatre by the Lake, Keswick), Sweet Charity (English Theatre Frankfurt and Queen’s, Hornchurch), Hamlet (Bristol Old Vic), The Norman Conquests, Macbeth, Tears of a Clown, Return to the Forbidden Planet (Harrogate Theatre), 2nd Honeymoon (Brighton Festival), A Family Affair (Contact, Manchester), World Story Time (Theatre Royal, Stratford East), Leonardo’s Last Supper (Edinburgh), An Enemy of the People (West End).
UK Tours include: For Northern Broadsides Hamlet, The Tempest (also China), The Canterbury Tales (also tour Musical Director), War of the Roses (co-production with West Yorkshire Playhouse) and The Bells, Electric Lipstick, Much Ado About Nothing, Return to the Forbidden Planet, Ladies’ Night, A Christmas Carol, Mak the Sheep Stealer, Twelfth Night and The Secret Agent (for which he composed the music).
International work includes: Round and Round the Garden (Malaysia), The Murder of Sherlock Holmes (Europe), and A Streetcar Named Desire (Europe, Japan & Hong Kong).
17 pantomime seasons as villain or ugly sister, including 11 for Qdos Entertainment and 3 rock and roll pantos at the Liverpool Everyman.
Many rehearsed readings at Live Theatre Newcastle, including Lee Hall’s Rocket Man and Victoria and Abdul. His most recent appearance was in November Club’s Reflections and Provocations (for which he also composed the music).
Film includes: Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, Bliss and Almost Married.
Television includes: Creeped Out, Inspector George Gently, Inside Out, Undercover, All At Sea, Vera, Emmerdale, Waterloo Road, Coronation Street, Doctors, Shameless, The Royal Today, The Royal , Dalziel and Pascoe, Mobile, Hollyoaks, The Cinder Path and Harry.
If it wasn’t for his parents Nigel and Val Phil would have been hard pushed to manage any of the above, so his performance in Calendar Girls is dedicated to them, along with his wife Jane and children, in order of appearance: David, Joseph, Charlie, Leo and Beatrice.
Pauline made her name in the West End at the Apollo Theatre, playing the title role where she won rave reviews in A Saint She Ain’t.
Pauline completed a 6-month contract with the Liverpool Everyman Rep Company, performing in Fiddler on the Roof, Conquest of the South Pole, The Sum and Romeo & Juliet.
She has previously performed at The Everyman in productions of Twelfth Night, Elsie And Norm’s Macbeth, Unprotected and Comedians.
Blessed with a fabulous voice she has also sung her way across the stage with the Philharmonic Orchestra and in various musicals including Chicago, Gypsy, And the Beat Goes On and Twopence to Cross the Mersey.
Never one to shy away from a role she gave a harrowing performance of the decline of a dementia sufferer in Held at the Playhouse. Other productions here include Breezeblock Park and Billy Liar amongst others.
She has also made frequent appearances at The Royal Court, in productions of Our Day Out, Dirty Dusting and Shirley Valentine again to name but a few.
Her television credits include BBC’s DOA, ITV’s Blue Murder, Jimmy McGovern’s series The Street and of course Brookside!
As one of the countries original female comediennes to take to the stage she is still a regular in comedy stores throughout the country and even includes the London Palladium as a venue.
She has also been a regular presenter on BBC Radio and she is a great champion of local charities.
CATHERINE DIGGES Miss Wilson
Training: The Sylvia Young Theatre School.
West End Credits include; U/S and played Kate in Kiss Me Kate (Victoria Palace Theatre), Whistle Down The Wind (Aldwych Theatre), Soul Girl in Jesus Christ Superstar in Concert (Palace Theatre ), The Fields Of Ambrosia (Aldwych Theatre).
Other Theatre Credits; Julie Johnston in Bad Girls the Musical (Union Theatre), U/S and played Tanya and Donna in Mamma Mia! (International Tour), cover Madam Thenardier in Les Misèrables (National Tour), Sister Margaretta in The Sound Of Music (Egypt and Beirut) Daphne in Darling Of The Day (Union Theatre), Nancy in Oliver! (Theatre Clwyd), Ado Annie in Oklahoma! (National tour and Aberystwyth Arts Centre), Kate in Pirates Of Penzance (UK Tour), My Fair Lady (UK Tour), Annie (UK Tour ) Chess (UK Tour).
Workshops: The Woman In White (Sydmonton, Really Useful Company).
Cabaret: Lead Vocalist in Beyond The Barricade, The Wonderful West End , I Move On - One Woman Show (The Pheasantry).
Catherine is thrilled to be joining the Calendar Girls and would like to dedicate this show to her late Sister Jackie, forever loved.
TYLER DOBBS Tommo
Tyler trained at Arts Ed where his roles included: Paul in People, Places & Things, Mr Roe in Machinal, Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet, Hajji in The Suicide and Luke in the world premiere of This Is by Roy Williams.
DEREK ELROY Lawrence
Derek trained at The Rose Bruford College.
Theatre Credits: The Wind in The Willows (The Rose Theatre), Screwed (Theatre 503), Routes (Millennium Theatre), Robin Hood (Theatre Royal Stratford East), One Man, Two Guvnors (The National Theatre, West End and UK Tour 2014/15), Kinston 14 (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Little Red Riding Hood (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Aladdin (Theatre Royal Stratford East), The Harder They Come (The Playhouse Theatre & UK/International tour 2009/10), 6 Mics No Luggage (Edinburgh Festival 2007), The Harder They Come (2007 Theatre Royal Stratford East), Dick Whittington and his Cat (The Barbican), The World Cup Final 1966 (Battersea Arts Centre), The Gruffalo (Tall Stories USA & Canadian Tour), The Blues Brothers (German Tour), ‘666’ (The Riverside Theatre & European Tour), I Was Looking At The Ceiling And Then I Saw The Sky (The Southwark Theatre & The Royal Opera House), Big Nose & Mother Goose (The Belgrade Theatre), The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (Theatre Royal Northampton), Foe (Theatre de Complicite Tour), Carmen Jones (European Tour), Dirty Reality & Forgotten Heroes (Black Mime Theatre).
Television Credits: Fortitude 2, Rev (BBC), Buried Treasure (ITV), If (BBC), Casualty (BBC), Crimewatch (BBC), Hope and Glory (BBC), Noel's House Party (BBC), Backup (BBC), The Bill (Thames Television).
Film Credits: Breakfast on Pluto (Breakfast on Pluto Productions), The Diary of Bridget Jones (Working Titles), The Nutcracker (Sands Films), Revolver (Crucial Films).
Radio Credits: Bad Salsa (BBC Radio).
NIKKI GERRARD Understudy
Nikki trained at Sylvia Young Theatre School and The Guildford School of Acting.
She most recently appeared as Dead Mam in the UK & Ireland tour of Billy Elliot.
Other work includes; the UK premiere of It's Only Life for the Brighton Fringe, the Witch in Into The Woods at Emporium Brighton, the UK tour of Dr Dolittle and she performed at the London Palladium with the legendary Tommy Steele in Scrooge The Musical.
Nikki sailed the world as principal vocalist onboard the 6-star yacht Seabourn Odyssey and has been performing her solo cabaret across London to great acclaim.
Her album, This Time Around, is released on the Dress Circle Label.
VANESSA GRACE LEE Understudy
Theatre includes: Ensemble/Donatello’s Mother/1st Cover Angie in The Wedding Singing (UK Tour), Mrs Thompson in Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi (Union Theatre), Rose Stopnick Gelman/Standby in Caroline Or Change (National Theatre), Siren in Taniwha Thames (Oval Theatre), Rizzo in Grease (P&O Oriana/CMC Ltd), Tracey Lord in High Society (P&O Oriana CMC), Helen Walsingham in Half A Sixpence (P&O Oriana /CMC), Star To Be/Ensemble in Annie (UK Tour), Mary Jeffers in From Hell She Came (Pleasance, Edinburgh Festival), Dina Calamari in The Wedding (Café Royal London), Sheila Franklin in Hair (European Tour), Lynette Fromme in Assassins (Komedia Theatre, Brighton), Messua in Jungle Book (Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham). Ensemble in Moby Dick A Whale of a Tale (Piccadilly Theatre), Mrs Darling in Peter Pan (Theatre Royal Lincoln), Prince Charming in Cinderella (Southend/Qdos), Aladdin in Aladdin (Stoke on Trent/Qdos/ Llandudno/E&B), Dandini in Cinderella (Darlington/Qdos), Sybil in Beauty And The Beast (Theatre Royal, Wakefield).
Commercial includes: Flower Seller in Tennent’s Lager (Leith Agency).
Cabaret includes: Featured Artist in Suite 60’s with Christian Holder (The Crazy Coqs).
Rehearsed Reading includes: Mira in Shelter (National Theatre).
DANNY HOWKER Danny
Danny was born and raised in Yorkshire and began his acting career in school plays while in primary school. He then attended Scala Kids School of Performing Arts.
Danny’s first television role was in The Sparticle Mystery, playing Ronaldo. On screen he has also played Kyle in Kiss; Street Rat in Stolen, Hero Boy in The Knife that Killed Me, Daniel in short film Goal Shooter, a Young Offender in several episodes of Emmerdale, and most recently he played Ronnie Samson in Doctors for the BBC.
In theatre, Danny’s first role was Peter Cratchit in Scrooge the Musical at The Grand Theatre, Leeds. Other theatre includes Workhouse Boy in Oliver! Ryan in The Bee Mask for Slung Low Theatre, and Tom in The Fancy at the Square Chapel, Halifax.
When not busy on stage or screen, Danny plays guitar and enjoys composing his own songs and jamming with a group of mates.
ELLIE LEAH Miss Wilson
Training: Birmingham School of Speech and Drama.
Theatre credits: Ensemble & Cover/Played Betty in Fat Friends (UK Tour), Diva/Shirley in Priscilla Queen of the Desert (New Zealand), Ensemble & Cover/Played Nancy in Nell Gwynn (Apollo Theatre), Miss Hannigan in Annie (Madinat Theatre Dubai), West End Live with Priscilla Queen of The Desert, Diva and Shirley in Priscilla Queen of The Desert (UK Tour), Alternate Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia! (International tour), Nun in SisterAct (London Palladium Theatre), The Woman in Marry Me A Little (Cheltenham Everyman Theatre), Mrs. Potts and Madame De La Grande Bouche in Beauty and the Beast (UK tour), Ragdoll in The Attic (Theatre Royal Haymarket), Sylvia in Stepping Out (Theatre Royal Lincoln), A Star To Be in Annie (UK Tour), Lia in Hold Tight it’s 60s Night (Netherlands Tour), Gina in Heartbeat The Musical (UK Tour), Presenter/Whybird CBBC Playdays (UK Tour), Bluette in The Blues Brothers (UK Tour). Ellie was also part of the theatre company on board P&O Aurora.
Pantomimes: Fairy Formidable in Beauty and the Beast (Eastbourne), Fairy Fortywinks in Sleeping Beauty (Redditch), The Spirit of The Ring in Aladdin (Boston), Boompsa Daisy in Treasure Island (The Liverpool Everyman).
Television: Nun in The Sound of Music Live (ITV), This Morning (ITV) with Priscilla Queen of The Desert, Vocalist Bands Reunited (VH1).
Recordings: The Attic, Santa Claus The Musical, Ident for BBC World Service.
JAMES LEEMAN Understudy
James trained at The Royal Academy of Music graduating in 2016 with a Master of Arts in Musical Theatre, having previously trained at SLP College. He is also an alumnus of the National Youth Music Theatre.
Previous credits: Mack and Mabel for the London Musical Theatre Orchestra (Hackney Empire), Shrek The Musical (Gaiety Theatre, Isle of Man), Prince Victor in Sleeping Beauty (Royal Spa Centre, Leamington), Prince Michael (Southport Theatre and Grimsby Auditorium), King and Country (Brighton Fringe), The Hired Man (Hull Truck Theatre/Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre RADA).
Credits whilst training: Jack/Big Tim in Rags (Theatre Royal Stratford East), Timothy Blauvelt/Doctor in Love Story (Royal Academy of Music), Lavrenti in Caucasian Chalk Circle (Royal Academy of Music) and Eddie in a workshop of the new musical The Happy Prince directed by Maria Friedman.
IAN MERCER Rod
Theatre includes: The Full Monty (West End), The Changeling (English Touring Theatre) Chips With Everything and Two Tracks and Text Me (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The York Realist and Under The Whaleback (Royal Court), Romeo and Juliet (Young Vic tour), Night, Sunday Morning (Nottingham Playhouse), Spend, Spend, Spend (Oldham Coliseum) and The Fancy Man (Hampstead).
Television includes: Walk Like a Panther, Preston Passion, Lewis, Shameless, The Red Riding Trilogy, Waking The Dead, The Chase, Holby City, The Street, New Tricks, Donovan, Sweet Medicine, Shackleton, Common as Muck, A Touch of Frost, Brick is Beautiful, Flowers in the Rain, The Monocled Mutineer and Coronation Street.
Films include: Peterloo, Tarzan, The Scapegoat, Pirate of the Caribbean – On Stranger Tides, Creation, The Boat That Rocked, Lassie, and Master and Commander – The Far Side of the World.
ALAN STOCKS Denis
Alan was born in Liverpool and after training at RADA worked extensively in both TV and theatre, appearing, amongst others, as D.S. Don Merrick in series one and two of Wire in the Blood, alongside Robson Green.
Other TV appearances vary from EastEnders to Rome and Drop the Dead Donkey to Murder in Mind. Alan has also worked on various films, such as Under Suspicion with Liam Neeson. Theatre has always been Alan’s first love, and after a season at the RSC appearing in Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure, he was lucky enough to work with Tim Firth for the first time in The End of the Food Chain at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
Years later, it was Alan’s pleasure to play The Innkeeper in Tim’s very funny The Flint Street Nativity at the Liverpool Playhouse. He eventually moved back to his hometown and became something of a regular at The Playhouse, The Liverpool Everyman and The Liverpool Royal Court. Here, he was also commissioned by them to write and appear in his very own play Save Our Souls, which was produced in 2016, of which he’s very proud. The chance to work with Tim again, as well as a fantastic cast and company, and to get to work in the wonderful theatres that Calendar Girls will play, is very exciting. His career spans nearly thirty years and while he could just list jobs, he hopes that this gives you an idea of who he is! He hopes you enjoy this fabulous production.
MICHELLE WHITNEY Understudy
Michelle trained at Hertfordshire Theatre School and The Royal Academy of Music.
Theatre credits include: Vi Petty/Mary Lou Sokoloff The Buddy Holly Story (Exchange Theatre), Zoe/Swing/Puppeteer in Sesame Street Live! Make A New Friend (International tour), Sketch comedy Dyer & Whitney (The Underbelly Festival, Edinburgh Fringe), lead roles in Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Tempest, Measure for Measure (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival / Principle Theatre Company).
TV and film credits include: Do It Now! (PPI advert FCA campaign), Sporty Diana (BBC Sport Relief), Principle Ensemble in The Magic Flute directed by Sir Kenneth Branagh, Linda Front of House (Mockumentary, Twist of Lime Productions), ADR/Vocals in Guitar Hero live / Eddie the Eagle (Pinewood Group Ltd).
Pantomime credits include: Fairy Snowflake in Sleeping Beauty (Weymouth Pavilion Theatre), Billy Bones/Ben Gunn in Treasure Island (Tour), Trazza in Cinderella Boom Or Bust (The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane), Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz (Weymouth Pavilion Theatre), Slave Of The Ring in Aladdin (Keith Harris and Orville productions), and Dandini in Cinderella (The Middlesbrough Theatre).
Other credits include: Hello Beautiful CIF (Stills campaign) West End Chorus Seasons of love/Night of 1000 Stars (The Royal Albert Hall), Soloist in Curtain Up, Royal Academy of Music 20th anniversary concert (Prince Edward Theatre).
Michelle is delighted to be joining the cast of Calendar Girls the Musical on it’s first UK and Ireland Tour and would like to thank her mum, dad and family for their continued support!
MORE CASTING TO BE ANNOUNCED
Some years ago the musician and choirmaster Bob Howes started a songwriting competition for the BBC. A young lad from a North Western town entered. His name was Tim Firth and he became a friend of Bob’s, so much so that he ended up a judge on the same competition when, five or so years later, another young lad from the North West entered. Gary Barlow and Tim found they came from the same town. They said they’d keep in touch and maybe try a little collaboration one day.
In the meantime Tim went on to read English at Cambridge and become a playwright and composer . His most recent work for theatre was the musical This Is My Family at Sheffield Cruciblewhich won the UK Theatre Award for Best Musical. His other musicals include Our House (Olivier Award Best Musical) and the Flint Street Nativity. His plays include Neville’s Island, The Safari Party, and Sign of the Times. His play Calendar Girls (Whatsonstage Best Comedy) became the most performed amateur play in history and has funded research projects into blood cancers. Tim’s films include Blackball, The Wedding Video, Calendar Girls (British Comedy Award) and Kinky Boots. For television he wrote Timeless, Money For Nothing (Writer's Guild Award); The Rottentrolls (BAFTA Award); Cruise of the Gods; The Flint Street Nativity and Preston Front (Writer's Guild award; British Comedy Award, RTS Award)
One of the first things Tim did after leaving university was go to see Gary performing at Manchester Apollo. This is because in the meantime Gary had formed a band called Take That together with Mark Owen, Howard Donald, Jason Orange and Robbie Williams. They went on to become one of the biggest British bands of all time. Now, after 25 years in the business, with over 52 million records sold including nine UK No.1 albums, fifteen UK No.1 singles, seven million concert tickets – and as well as being the proud recipient of six Ivor Novello Awards - Gary Barlow is regarded as one of Britain’s most successful singer songwriters.
In 2016 Gary and Tim performed a song from their first collaboration The Girls on the Royal Variety Show backed by a massed choir whose choirmaster was Bob Howes.