Middle aged Chris and Annie are best friends who spend much of their time at their local chapter of the Women's Institute (WI). Although they like most of the WI women, they don't like the way Marie, the local president, runs the chapter. They find much of what goes on there, especially the monthly presentations, boring and devoid of enlightenment and fun.
Equally as banal was last year's fund-raising calendar, featuring local bridges, which raised little, and this year's proposed calendar of local churches promises to be even worse.
After Annie's husband John passes away from leukemia, Chris wants the WI to provide a memorial in his memory: a new sofa for the family room at the hospital. The one Chris wants to buy is expensive, so she proposes to raise money by changing the fund-raising calendar to one featuring tasteful photographs of nude WI members. She got the idea by seeing all around her the notion of the old adage that sex sells. Annie likes the idea as it is analogous to one of horticultural-loving John's last statements about plants being the most glorious in the latter stages of their life, after which they quickly go to seed.
The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie's friendship is put to the test under the strain of their new-found fame.
The Telegraph has this to say:
"Calendar Girls, with a script by Tim Firth who also co-wrote the movie, achieves exactly what it sets out to do. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, and it leaves you feeling better about life than you did when you entered the theatre."
The play is based on the true story of eleven WI members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukemia Research Fund.
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