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Allen Flynn, left and Jackie Scanlan, right, of Ennis Players, with sponsor John Galvin, MD The Clare Champion at the launch of the Ennis Players forthcoming charity production of Calendar Girls, in aid of four local charities, at the Old Ground Hotel. Photograph by John Kelly.

Make a date with the Calendar Girls

JESSICA QUINN

THE Clare Champion is more used to bringing the county the news, however now we are getting behind the nudes.

Members of Ennis Players at the launch of  Calendar Girls, in aid of four local charities. Photograph by John Kelly.
Members of Ennis Players at the launch of Calendar Girls, in aid of four local charities. Photograph by John Kelly.

The Ennis Players latest production will be Calendar Girls, based on the true story of eleven WI members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukaemia Research Fund England.

And The ‘Champion are supporting their performances in Glór, which will raise funds for not one, but four local charities. The Ennis Players are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their revival, launching their charity production of the fastest selling play in British history at a special meeting this week.

The Calendar Girls story was famously made into a film staring Helen Mirren and was subsequently adapted for the stage by Tim Firth, spending the last five years entertaining audiences all over the world.

And in the spirit of the original Calendar Girls, the Ennis Players have agreed to donate all proceeds from this production to charities. Benefiting from the production will be: Cahercalla Hospice; Slainte An Chlair Cancer Centre; West Clare Cancer Care Centre and Alzheimers Day Care Centre Ennis.

Chairperson of the group, Jackie Scanlan gave great credit to the Clare audiences who have supported the group since the ‘70s.

Monica Gallagher, Caroline Stack, Neasa Sexton and Anita O' Loughlin of Sláinte An Chláir with Saoirse Byrne of Ennis Players, right, and at rear, Sinéad Finn, Allen Flynn, Mick Kelly and Eddie McCourt of Ennis Players at the launch of the Ennis Players forthcoming charity production of Calendar Girls, in aid of four local charities, at the Old Ground Hotel. Photograph by John Kelly.
Monica Gallagher, Caroline Stack, Neasa Sexton and Anita O’ Loughlin of Sláinte An Chláir with Saoirse Byrne of Ennis Players, right, and at rear, Sinéad Finn, Allen Flynn, Mick Kelly and Eddie McCourt of Ennis Players at the launch of the Ennis Players forthcoming charity production of Calendar Girls, in aid of four local charities, at the Old Ground Hotel. Photograph by John Kelly.

“As an amateur drama group, Ennis Players are seen as one of the top groups in the country for audiences and this is most reflective of the great support that we have received from the people of Clare for the past 40 years. This is a very special way for us to thank our audiences and to support four extremely worthwhile local charities while providing people with a fantastic night’s entertainment with this very special comedy,” he said.

John Galvin, managing director of The Clare Champion, media sponsors for this production added, “We are delighted to be supporting the Ennis Players in this production of Calendar Girls and I am looking forward to seeing their interpretation of a very popular film and stage play. Also it is fantastic to see that the proceeds will be going to four local charities. Supporting our local community is something that we at The Clare Champion feel very strongly about.”

Director of the production, Allen Flynn, a member of the group since 1995, says that directing such a popular story has its challenges but believes that the array of talent in the production from both existing members and new members  will go great justice to the story.

“ I have always been amazed by the talent of our many actors but this is only complemented by the phenomenal commitment of our back stage crew. On a personal note, I am very privileged to be directing a production, which I know will benefit such worthwhile charities.  Ireland is going through an incredible period of recession and to be able to assist such great local charities is indeed a great honour for the Ennis Players.”

Calendar Girls will run in Glor Theatre from Wednesday, March 26 to Saturday, March 29.  Based on the popularity of the play and the significance of these local worthwhile charities, tickets are expected to sell out and early booking is advisable.

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