Calendar Girls plant a legacy of sunflowers at Birmingham’s Winterbourne House & Gardens.
This week, Birmingham’s beautiful Winterbourne House and Gardens welcomed the cast of Tim Firth and Gary Barlow’s Calendar Girls The Musical for a very special spot of gardening.
Stars of the show, including Lesley Joseph and Lisa Maxwell, met with gardeners and custodians of the historic house to plant seven sunflowers in the garden, each labelled with the name of the cast member who planted it.
Sunflowers are a synonymous icon and symbol of the Calendar Girls story. Calendar Girls The Musical is inspired by the true story of a group of ladies, who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds to buy a settee for their local hospital, in memory of one of their husbands, and have to date raised almost £5 million for Bloodwise.
This musical comedy shows life in their Yorkshire village, how it happened, the effect on husbands, sons and daughters, and how a group of ordinary ladies achieved something extraordinary.
Visiting the gardens were the cast who play the inspiring group of women on stage; Lesley Joseph (Birds of a Feather) as Jessie, Sarah Jane Buckley (Blood Brothers and Hollyoaks) as Annie, Sue Devaney (Dinnerladies, Casualty, Coronation Street, Mamma Mia!) as Cora, Julia Hills (Broadchurch, The Archers) as Ruth, Judy Holt (Cold Feet, Scott & Bailey) as Marie and Lisa Maxwell (Loose Women, Hollyoaks, The Bill) as Celia and Rebecca Storm (Evita, Les Miserables, Chess) as Chris.
Winterbourne House is a rare surviving example of an early twentieth century suburban villa and garden. The house was built in 1903 for John and Margaret Nettlefold, of Guest, Keen & Nettlefold. The garden is a seven acre oasis located just minutes from Birmingham city centre and home to over 6,000 different plant species.
Calendar Girls The Musical continues at Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday 8th June. For tickets visit birminghamhippodrome.com or call 0844 338 5000 (4.5p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge).
For more information about Winterbourne House visit winterbourne.org.uk.