Denise Welch on starring in one of the biggest musical tours of the decade!

The award-winning musical Calendar Girls by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth will show at The Regent Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent next month. We caught up with star Denise Welch ahead of the opening night 

L-R Denise Welch, Rebecca Storm, Karen Dunbar, Fern Britton, Sara Crowe, Anna-Jane Casey, Ruth Madoc. Credit: John Swannel

Starring Fern Britton, Lorraine Bruce, Anna-Jane Casey, Sara Crowe, Ruth Madoc, Rebecca Storm and Denise Welch, Calendar Girls the Musical is winging its way to Staffordshire and will be live at the Regent Theatre from Tuesday 13th November.

The musical tells the true story of Yorkshire’s own Calendar Girls – a group of ordinary ladies who achieved something extraordinary.

Ahead of the star-studded show opening, Denise Welch tells Vicky Edwards about the power of women, what she gets up to in the kitchen and how hearing three notes on a xylophone thrilled her…

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Q: The show – the real story – is about a group of women who made something extraordinary happen. Are women especially good at pushing an idea through?

A: The great thing about the musical is that we have men in it, so it’s much more about the whole community than the play was. But yes; while the men are all behind it [the idea of a calendar] it’s the women who make it happen.

Q: What appealed to you about the production?

A: I have spent a lot of my career in TV where everything is done as fast as possible. With this show it has had time invested in it; it has been completely re-thought since it was in the West End. Tim Firth is a God! Every full stop is there for a reason, and Gary’s music – oh wow!

Q: Will men enjoy the show too?

A: When I saw it in Leeds there were a lot of men there. Listening to them talking at the end it was clear that they hadn’t been looking forward to it, but they were all saying how much they wanted to see it again.

Q: What would you say to people who don’t really like musicals?

A: Tim, Gary and Matt our director are playing against the typical belty musical. This is special; original, feel-good and very different to a typical musical.

Watch Gary Barlow and Tim Firth talk about the show

Q: Are you WI material, do you think?

A: No! I mean, I do cook for my kids or they wouldn’t be alive, but the kitchen is my natural home for chatting. If it comes to providing cakes for fetes then mine is always the shop bought one.

Q: If schlepping around the country wasn’t enough to keep you busy, you have just had a book published. Presumably you will be busy promoting that at the same time?

A: Yes; me, Fern and Sara have all got books out. As you get older you have to have other strings to your bow.

Q: What has been your personal highlight so far with Calendar Girls the Musical?

A: I want to be like Ruth Madoc when I’m her age. The other day we happened to have a xylophone in the rehearsal room and she did the Hi Di Hi ‘hello campers’ thing. It was the best thing that ever happened to me!

Calendar Girls the Musical will be at The Regent, Stoke-on-Trent from Tuesday 13th November until Saturday 17th November. Tickets are available from The Regent Theatre Box Office, or by calling 0844 871 7649.

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