Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s CALENDAR GIRLS THE MUSICAL has opened to rave reviews at the Sunderland Empire this week and in attendance at the opening night was original and Sunderland born Calendar Girl, Tricia Stewart.
Businesses who took part in the Shop Sunderland calendar campaign were in attendance and had the chance to share their experiences with the iconic calendar girl.
Earlier this year, Sunderland Empire got behind Sunderland Business Improvement District’s Shop Sunderland initiative for 2019 and inspired by the up and coming production local businesses and services dared to bare to showcase the excellent range of facilities available in Sunderland.
Businesses taking centre stage for the calendar campaign included hairdressing salon Frances Marshall, Estate Agent’s Elopa, Serendipity Tea and Trinkets, Station Taxis and the Bridges shopping centres security team. Alongside, established family run business, Collinson’s, Hays Travel, Keel Square, the Customer Experience team at Sunderland Empire, The Looking Glass and a spoof take on the iconic Titanic scene from the Empire Cinema.
The images were used to produce 1000 table talker calendars which have been distributed across Sunderland as a reminder of the great facilities available on the doorstep.
The Shop Sunderland campaign aims to recognise the many local and independent businesses available to support in Sunderland city centre. The campaign was initially launched last December by the Sunderland BID with a series of video interviews on the lead up to and after the UK’s Small Business Saturday celebration.
On hearing about the Sunderland inspired calendar Gary Barlow said:
“It’s brilliant that the people of Sunderland have been inspired to create their own calendar, just like the ladies of the Rylstone and District WI did 20 years ago. The calendar girls effect shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon!”
CALENDAR GIRLS THE MUSICAL continues to play the Sunderland Empire until Saturday 23 March, and 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 £5million 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.