The Girls


‘such a spectacular line-up of West End talents blooming’

‘a show whose feelgood conclusion is genuinely earned ‘

‘a fresh and joyous attempt to reinvent the material’

Gary Barlow’s musical based on the 2003 Calendar Girls film makes its West End premiere at London’s Phoenix Theatre. Penned by world-famous composer and musician Barlow, The Girls features lyrics and a book by the film’s original screenwriter Tim Firth.

The Girls is the real life story of a Women’s Institute group who decide to fundraise for a local hospital by posing for a raunchy-but-tasteful nude calendar. Inadvertently, the group become media sensations, and are soon hounded for their story. A heart-warming story that follows the close friendships in the group, as well as the strained personal lives, The Girls is sure to be a British hit.

Firth’s The Girls originally premiered as a play in 2015 at the Leeds Grand Theatre, and later at The Lowry in Salford in 2016. Based on the 2003 film which featured renowned actresses Helen Mirren, Julie Walters, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton, Linda Bassett, Annette Crosbie and Geraldine James, Calendar Girls is the uplifting tale that is bound to capture the hearts of London audiences. Now, the updated production features music by Barlow that earned it five-star reviews from audiences and critics alike.

Cast and Creative

The Girls is the entirely new musical by Take That member Gary Barlow and playwright Tim Firth, based on Firth’s original 2003 film Calendar Girls. With music by Barlow and lyrics by Firth, the score is sure to be a hit, with Broadway spectacular Finding Neverland already under Barlow’s belt. Directed by FirthThe Girls features design by Robert Jones and lighting design by Tim Lutkin, with sound design by Terry Jardine and Nick Lidster.

Cast members include Debbie Chazen as Ruth, Sophie-Louise Dann as Celia, Michele Dotrice as Jessie, Marian McLoughlin as Marie, Claire Moore as Chris, Claire Machin as Cora and Joanna Riding as Annie. Further cast members include Joe Caffrey as Rod, Jeremy Clyde as Dennis, John Davitt as Doctor, Soo Drouet as Brenda, James Gaddas as John, Jenny Gayner as Miss Wilson (Coffee), Steve Giles as Lawrence, Maxwell Hutcheon as Colin, Shirley Jameson as Miss Wilson (Tea), Judith Street as Lady Cravenshire, Josh Benson as Tommo, Ben Hunter as Danny and Chloe May Jackson as Jenny.

Song List

  • “Yorkshire” – Full Company
  • “Girls”
  • “Scarborough”
  • “Who Wants a Silent Night?” – Cora and Company
  • “Mrs Conventional” – The Girls
  • “Sunflower” – Chris
  • “Dare” – Chris, Annie and the Girls
  • “Protect Me Less” – Danny
  • “So I’ve Had a Little Work Done” – Celia
  • “What Age Expects” – Jessie
  • “Kilimanjaro” – Annie
  • “My Russian Friend and I” – Ruth
  • “For One Night Only” – Full Company

Show Lengths and Times

The Girls began previews at the Phoenix Theatre on January 28th 2017, with an official opening on February 21st 2017, and it is set to run until July 15th 2017. Performances are at 7:30pm every evening, excluding Sundays, with matinees at 2:30pm on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Show running time is 2 hours and 45 minutes, including an interval.

Suitable for Children?

The Girls contains nudity which is not suitable for young children, therefore parental guidance is advised.



Tickets for The Girls at the Phoenix Theatre London are on sale now! Buy tickets by using the search form in the top right.


Have you seen The Girls? If so please share your thoughts in the comments section below!


  1. Saw this in Leeds, loved the story and cried lots as well as laughed lots. Can’t wait to see this in London for my birthday treat

  2. I have many musicals but this one is amongst the best. The story is well known but the lyrics and the script are woven into a piece of emotional magic. I laughed out loud in parts then later found I couldn’t hold back the tears. Sheer joy and a life affirming show. Can’t wait to see it again!!

  3. We also saw this at the Lowery in Salford, with my husband who is fighting cancer, we laughed and cried together can’t wait to see it again

  4. Saw it at The Lowry in Manchester, it was fantastic, so funny, fab music, a wonderful show – coming to see it again in London with some friends who are fed up with us raving about it!

  5. Saw one of the pre-production shows in Leeds and was so impressed. Cracking show which deserves a long run. My wife and I have seen all of the big name musicals over the last 20 years and this one stands tall amongst them. If you only see one show this year go and see this one.

  6. Saw this today in London as a recipient of a free nurses ticket (thank you by the way!!)
    I absolutely loved it….it was funny,emotional, touching and brilliantly played, the set was amazing too…will definitely bring my mum to see this!!

  7. Went to the opening night in London yesterday. What a fabulous show. Brilliant musical score gets you singing along then others that are so touching. An excellent cast who used the script to get across the message . Best of all Gary Barlow turned up and sang which made my friends evening. Highly recommended

  8. My sister saw this in Manchester and booked tickets for the opening night for our Mum’s birthday! Best musical ever, absolutely loved it especially the 2nd half! One minute you’re laughing and then the same breath crying! It’s a heart warming, energetic and an emotional show with an amazing cast. Seeing Gary Barlow come on stage at the end with the original calendar Girls was the highlight of the show!

  9. What can I say, fab, fab, fabulous. Did not want it to end, the cast are just incredible and you could see they were so enjoying doing the show. Would go back tomorrow if I had tickets.

  10. I laughed & sobbed. A rollercoaster of emotions. This has been beautifully reimagined. The acting is superb. The music is stamped with Gary Barlow’s energy and lyrics are just right!
    I wish the cast and crew huge success and love that you are fundraising after the show

  11. Laughed and cried and have sore palms from clapping! Such clever lyrics good musicality and an amazing set! Good and talented acting well worth it.

  12. We saw the The Girls at the Grand in Leeds, brilliant songs… Particularly liked the “Yorkshire Song” but then I am biased as I’m from Yorkshire, marvellous performances from all the cast, a lovely heartwarming story… You will really enjoy it.

  13. Fabulous show tonight Laughed, cried and laughed again. Loved it. Have seen other productions but this is by far the best. Well done everyone.

  14. Went to see the show with my friend on Saturday 4th Feb afternoon – 2 words – absolutely brilliant!! Standing ovation truly deserved.

  15. FANTASTIC. Must see it again. Standing ovation by whole audience. Can’t remember a theatre visit when I have laughed and enjoyed myself so much. Hope it will go on tour. Congratulations to all involved.

  16. Set resembles oak furniture store sale piled high. You have to be a certain age to appreciate the witty vocals, and more for ladies than the gents, even if there are a few high points to see. But very enjoyable and one of the better shows I have seen.

  17. Simply wonderful – laughed out loud and cried all the way through. Exceeded all expectations – only hope I get to see it again before it ends. Cannot recommend it enough xx

  18. Saw The Girls on February 11th 2017, had tears of laughter running down my face. Truly well done, a great believable cast and would go again.

  19. Just got home to Kent after watching The Girls. My god what a great show it was. Didn’t know what to expect but got more than I paid for. It was great. Thanks to the cast, will see you again.

  20. I’m a bit of a sceptic when films and plays that have been a success are taken into another category. I’m delighted to have been proved wrong on this occasion! What an amazing experience – even if you’ve seen the Calendar Girls film or play and think you know the plot, you’ve just got to see The Girls. Huge congratulations to everyone concerned. Like the other reviewers, I laughed and cried at the sheer enjoyment and brilliance from every member of the cast. Well done Gary and Tim. Xx

  21. Hadn’t seen the film. Wonderful interpretation with humour and sensitivity. Blown away by the music. Can’t stop listening to it. Gary Barlow set it on fire with dare… Keep this running at Phoenix. I want to see it again… Bring it to Scotland so we can all share… If you dare…

  22. I was lucky enough to see The Girls last night – absolutely brilliant – funny, moving and most of all so real – fantastic cast across the board – each and every one of them gave it their all and made it such a great evening to attend. A must see and I will definitely be back to see again. As a point of interest I am in my mid 40s and attended with my 19 year old son – he laughed and chortled the whole way through. So many congratulations and good luck for the future to the wonderful cast, Gary Barlow and Tim Firth – the show is pure genius.

  23. Saw this with a group from a WI from Essex. Fantastic performance. Laughter and tears. Added bonus the original Calendar girls came on stage at the end. Only downside – the seats at the Phoenix not enough leg room!

  24. Saw this tonight at the Phoenix Theatre with my mum. It is a must see! You will laugh out loud and you will cry throughout. The cast are fantastic, the songs are catchy and the storyline is meaningful and brilliantly played out! Let’s hope they can keep it going as I want to bring all my friends !!! Lovely theatre too !!

  25. Went to see the show on Friday 17th with my best friends and really wasn’t expecting it to make us laugh quite so much. Each character has been so well cast they played their roles fantastically. We actually sat just behind four of the original “Calendar Girls” who were in the audience. We laughed, we cried and then we laughed again, brilliant script with just the right level of humour. We are already planning our return visit. The theatre is not too big so you get a real feel for everything around you. Gary B has done himself proud as always – he can do no wrong in our eyes, but also big applause to the scriptwriting, the two elements were so well balanced. If you want to leave a theatre with a real feel good factor then go and see The Girls – a great night guaranteed, and if for any unknown reason you don’t enjoy it then you’ll never be pleased with anything you see

  26. This is such a touching story on so many levels and in so many different ways.
    Absolutely wonderful, the best of humankind, totally inspirational and a fantastic show to experience.
    I cried, laughed and cried again, thank you.

  27. Congratulations to Gary Barlow and Tim Firth for writing this amazing show and to the cast for bringing it to life. The cast were superb and the show is full of emotion, laughter, humour and the standing ovation was truly well deserved.
    A must see show.

  28. Saw this three times in Leeds and once in Salford. Loved it so much I’m coming to see it in the West End next week. It makes me so proud to be from Yorkshire. It’s heartrending and funny and the music/songs are just fantastic.

  29. Saw the show in London yesterday. Excellent casting, acting, music and dialogue.
    Some very sad but sensitive moments, but never a dull moment in the entire show!
    Absolutely brilliant!

  30. Went last night. All I can say is OMG. It was amazing, best I’ve ever seen. Funny, sad… Everything. Not anything I can fault, just brilliant. All cast were amazing. Made me laugh til I cried. Then cried til I laughed… Brilliant!

  31. Absolutely fantastic & brilliant must see show – never laughed so much (apart from the sad bit, so tenderly presented) Took a coach full of our WI members who all said they’d be happy to see it again. Needless to say the cast got a standing ovation from the entire theatre.

  32. One of the best shows I’ve seen but Gary you missed a trick sell a sunflower to raise money for the charity. I can on a coach of 50 and they all said they would have brought one and a Sunflower bring a smile to everyone’s face xx

  33. Brilliant mixture of laugh out loud humour and lump in the throat poignancy. The balance of characters, songs and storyline made it an experience I would recommend to anyone. On the way in I expected an all female audience but there were a lot of men and they clearly enjoyed it every bit as much.
    One of those plays you could see again and again.
    The staging is excellent 10/10 to the set designers.
    A further plus is that Yorkshire now has an anthem to rival Jerusalem.

  34. Just come back from this and want to go again, brilliant musical! I have never laughed so much at a stage show, the acting and singing were fabulous. Coming out, there were some of the actors collecting money for charity which I thought was a great touch and I was pleased to tell them how much I’d loved the show!

  35. Really enjoyed this show. Excellent professional cast. Made me cry a bit but laugh a lot. Now more of my friends want to see it so will be going again! I can recommend this as a thoroughly enjoyable night out.

  36. What a fantastic show with brilliant cast. Full of emotion, comedy and fun. Gary Barlow and Tim Firth have done a brilliant job – you did us Yorkshire folk proud!! Well worth the trip from Yorkshire!!

  37. Love this show! Never had a musical touch me so much. I saw it when it was in Manchester and have since seen it twice at the Phoenix. I bought my Mum for Mother’s Day and she adored it as well. I am seeing it again in July and really hope that it is extended again so that I can see it some more- I do not want this to end!

    Such a heartwarming story. Sad and happy tears and lots of laughter throughout. Great cast, and amazing tunes that you will be humming as you leave the theatre.

  38. What a fabulous show. So poignant and moving. Laughter and tears in equal measure. One of the best shows I have seen.
    Thoroughly recommend it.

  39. Just back from seeing the Show. Simply amazing. It will have you crying tears of laughter and sadness all in the same sentence. Well worth seeing.

  40. Saw The Girls on Thursday night. Absolutely fabulous, brilliant. Hits a sad chord I am sure for all of us “of an age” .
    However have recommended to all my girlfriends who love a girls night out. Nudity but very tasteful, great songs, great acting. Lovely to see Michelle Dotrice again. So yes a definite go see for great fun and laughter. Mitch

  41. May 18th 2017
    I do not normally put comments on blogs etc but this show prompted me to give my thanks to the cast and production team
    The show was totally fun and totally professional from the word go and from “a grumpy old man” this is praise indeed.
    Seriously though…thank you all for providing real theatre.
    It was one of the best productions i have seen for a long time

  42. Brilliant cast
    Incredibly moving but also very uplifting
    Cried but also laughed out loud!
    Would highly recommend

  43. A wonderful, wonderful show with great humour and a magnificent cast. The girls seemed to be genuinely enjoying performing and this was reflected back from the audience. I accompanied my wife not being sure if I would enjoy the show. How wrong I was. I laughed from start to finish. We all know the story of the calendar girls but this gave the story an extra twist. The stage set was fantastic and so innovative. The music and songs was really enjoyable. Some of the cast were collecting for the charity in the foyer and talking to the audience this was above and beyond the call of duty after a show. Well done to all involved. You deserve praise for you performance.

  44. Saw this on Tuesday 6th June, have to say I have never laughed and cried so much in such a short amount of time, the most fabulous emotional rollercoaster I’ve ever been on, hoping this tours so that I get another chance to see it, the cast were just outstanding, BRAVO

  45. I absolutely LOVED Girls!! I loved everything about it! The cast, the story, the sets, the lighting and especially the songs and the music!
    I’m from NYC and I get to see a lot of shows and believe me, this is one of my favorites!!
    I can’t believe that its ending in July! I would love to be able to see it again!

  46. Went to see the show today with my WI First Ladies Barking & Dagenham, absolutely fantastic show, we laughed we cried and some related to it. It’s the best show I have seen in a long time, songs and dialogue awesome. Some of our ladies have now seen the show three times, I will definitely be going again, we are thinking of doing our own charity calendar.

  47. Wonderful from start to finish… It was such fun like others before we laughed we cried and laughed even more. Awesome show that can be enjoyed more than once. Fabulous cast and music – would love to see it all over again!

  48. Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous.
    My wife and I laughed and cried our way through this. Excellent script and music and a fantastic cast. Only downside is it closing too soon.

  49. The best show I’ve ever seen. I saw it twice in six months and would happily see it again tomorrow. It has everything – fantastic music, laughter and tears. It strikes a chord with so many people. A real triumph and must see for everyone!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *