Tag Archive: Gary Barlow

We’re going to need considerably bigger buns.

An iconic line from an iconic film now transformed into a popular musical. But to make that musical a success you need an excellent company and fortunately, everything I have ever seen from Third From the Right Productions has been out of this world.

Calendar Girls — The Cornbow Hall, Halesowen — 19 November 2022

Calendar Girls is a 2015 musical based on the 2003 film of the same name. With music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and a book from Tim Firth, it tells the true story of a group of women who produce a nude calendar to raise funds for a local hospital when one of their husbands dies of cancer. This is an extremely emotional story which includes humour side by side with tragedy and eventually an ending of euphoria.

In the role of the feisty Chris was Natalie Baggot who as always portrayed a commanding figure on stage, excelling at the climax of Act One in Sunflower. As Annie, who loses husband, John (Jez Luckins) was Sarah Coussens who I saw earlier this year in Shrek. Again, it was a top notch performance and Coussens continues to be one of my favourite actors in local Musical Theatre. Kilimanjaro was sublime and Scarborough equally as poignant.

Gaynor Whitehouse returned to the stage as Cora after being at the directing helm during TFTR’s pre-Covid show, Soho Cinders while Jo Tranter aged up to play pensioner, Jessie, giving a great showing during What Age Expects. Completing the Calendar Girls were Bekki Jackson as the brassy Celia and Gillian Homer playing low self-esteemed Ruth who struggles to break free from her deadbeat husband. Both were excellent in solos, So I’ve Had a Little Work Done and My Russian Friends and I, respectively.

Supporting tremendously, though were Kaz Luckins (Marie), Charlie Bullock (Danny) and Niamh Hadley who along with Natalie Baggott provided one of the numbers of the night in Protect Me Less. Then we had Jeni Hatton (Lady Cavendish/Brenda Hulse), Carl Cook (Rod), Sam Gordon (Lawrence), Ian Howarth (Colin), Adrian Raybould (Denis) and Joe Neale (Tommo). Finally, the two unmarried Miss Wilsons (Laura Wright and Shan Nolan Beach) who bared near all in a cheeky cameo.

Jez Luckins was Artistic Director with assistance and choreography from Gaynor Whitehouse in addition to both treading the boards on stage. And then there was Chris Corcoran who continued his wonderful association with TFTR as Musical Director while the Production Manager was Dave Gardner.

Calendar Girls — The Cornbow Hall, Halesowen — 19 November 2022

The climax of the show sees the girls discreetly hidden by various food produce and utensils in For One Night Only before an uplifting finale in Sunflower of Yorkshire. At the end, the entire audience were on their feet with an ovation richly deserved.

The fourth production by Third From The Right I have seen and each time the bar raises higher. November 2023 will see the company return with (the delayed by Covid) Tommy. By then I expect the bar to hit the roof.

Calendar Girls — The Cornbow Hall, Halesowen — 19 November 2022


Antony N Britt

  • Some photos taken from TFTR’s Facebook page.

Still scaling the lofty heights.

You may recall last week, I told you I was tackling a 10 years in the waiting job of clearing the clutter in the loft. I’m happy to say, it’s about halfway completed after about six hours work during the week. Can’t do much in one go as it’s so hot up there.

Another stint this week ahead and it should be done. Still got clutter all over the floor up there but at least it’s sorted into perfectly ordered piles of clutter. It’s amazing what you find, though.

Okay. So I have Cybermen and Daleks hiding in my loft, but at least there is one positive. I now know why I’ve not had any rats during the past year. I wondered why that poison hadn’t been touched. The bigger monsters exterminated the rodents.

Back at Olympic Park …

It’s nearly over and GB have done fantastic. As I type, Mo Farah is in the background, going for gold. Now you will know from previous roasts, I know nothing of athletics and have to be honest, I’d not even heard of Mo Farah until this week. Still, he’s GB so let’s give him our support. Now you go and watch the kiss of death from Britt land on Mo Farah. It normally does when I big somebody up.

One of the strangest things I saw this week was when a rider made her horse do the foxtrot and win a Gold for it. Some of these events do stretch the definition of the word, sport. Whatever next – a dancing dog called Pudsey, winning a Gold?

Well, there would be if Simon Cowell ran the Olympics.

Oh … Hang on. Go – Mo!

Yeeeeeesssss! Another Gold.

Breakfast’s gone a bit cold.

Coldplay’s Chris Martin said this week that he plays his new songs to his kids at breakfast to gauge how good the music is. If children, Moses and Apple (Yeah … I know) start singing, then Chris knows he’s onto a winner.

Come on, Chris, you’re playing safe testing it out at breakfast. Kids are wide awake that time in the morning. Test it out just before bedtime, then if the kids fall asleep, you’ll know they think it’s the same load of monotonous dirge the rest of us do.

Chris Martin and Coldplay – Possibly the best cure for insomnia ever created.

And talking of falling asleep …

Fishing enthusiast, Phil Hunt was in the news as it was reported he needs someone to look after him when he partakes in his favourite sport.

Fishing – Sport? Yeah – right. Surprised it’s not an Olympic event. Anyway, Phil suffers from narcolepsy which means he could fall asleep and fall in the river.

There’s a little gift for you, Phil but narcolepsy, come on! Fishing is the most boring pastime ever invented. It’s enough to send anybody to sleep. Has there been in-depth research into the condition? A bit of digging may find most of the sufferers were found to be sitting by the river with a rod in their hands. Either that or they were just listening to Coldplay.

In an unrelated news report, chef Gurpareet Bains has developed a curry which gets people to sleep better. His Insomnia Masala, produces effects similar to sleeping pills.

All well and good, but drifting into a sound sleep after eating a curry is only solving half the problem and very risky. What about when you wake up in the middle of the night and have to rush to the loo due to the volcanic eruption at the other end of the body when said curry, recycles itself to the tune of Ring of Fire?

And then you wake up …

Kay Delany from Cambridgeshire, slipped and banged her head. She was knocked out and when she woke up, found she’d lost twenty years and still thought it was 1990.

Blimey. Can you imagine if that happened? If it was me, I’d still think I was married to my ex-wife and therefore hiding the Kit-Kat bars while dodging flying crockery. Not only that, I’d still have the recent memory of having to listen to the bloody Pet Shop Boys.

Terms of the divorce. I got the house, she got the Pet Shop Boys. Now there’s another musical brand to send you to sleep.

But still … 1990? It took me years to get over the trauma of the Chris Waddle penalty miss during the World Cup in Italy that year. I’d be facing the prospect of waking in a cold sweat again, screaming, ‘Noooooo!’

Yes, Chris. Twenty-two years later, I still close my eyes and wonder … if the ball you put over the bar has come to land, yet?

Probably the sickest stunt I’ve heard in a while.

It was in the news this week that Take That’s Gary Barlow and wife, lost a child in a still-birth. As a father, I can only imagine the hurt and nobody – ever, deserves that. Now you can guess, I’m not a fan of Take That, neither would I know a Gary Barlow song if it was blasted into my ears. However, what little I do know of the man is that he comes across as a decent enough guy. Decent, on the other hand, is not a word which could ever in a million years, be attributed to former Big Brother contestant, Kenneth Tong.

Kenneth thought it really big to jump on the bandwagon and tweet hate-filled jokes, poking fun at the Barlow’s loss. I’m not going to repeat them or even suggest you check them out. Take my word, they come from a sick mind.

Kenneth Tong, as I said, was on Big Brother a few years back and in his six days in the house, showed himself to be the useless excuse for a human being we still know him to be. He once boasted money can buy you anything. Really? Not respect and the only thing it seems to have bought Kenneth is the tag of being a useless low-life scumbag of the highest degree. A complete wanker.

Kenneth stands by his evil tweets and says he only did it for fun and to get noticed.

I wonder, when he dies and nobody attends his funeral for him being the worst kind of slug from beneath a slimy stone, will anybody notice then? Will they care that he’s gone?

Is it safe to venture up the loft now?

Okay, creatures of mass extermination have been obliterated, and there’s still no sign of rats. Therefore, this time next week, I think my work in the loft will be done and I’ll have loads of space. Great, then I can bung all the crap from every other part of the house, up there. Result.

Now then, what’s this lying in the corner? Oh my God! The worst horror of all. Is it rats, or even dead rats? No … worse.

Arrrggghhh! Bloody Pet Shop Boys. How did that get there?

I need therapy.



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