Bucket loads of collections taken during The Calendar Girls musical’s month-long stint in Leeds drummed up £26,500 for a blood cancer charity.
Bloodwise volunteers, cast members and theatre staff at Leeds Grand rattled the bucket after every performance of the story about Women’s Institute members baring all.
There is a long association between Bloodwise, formerly known as Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, and the original Calendar Girls who posed nude to raise money for charity.
Angela Baker, whose husband’s death from lymphoma sparked the idea for the original alternative WI calendar, said: “The public have been so supportive over the years and we have been blown away yet again by their generosity. There were a few nights in a row where we were collecting upwards of £900 after each performance. It is such a joy to see the amount of money raised for Bloodwise continue to grow. I know John would have been very, very proud.”
The charity’s chairman of fundraising is journalist Alastair Campbell, who was Tony Blair’s director of communications and strategy.
The charity’s chief executive Cathy Gilman said: “It has been such a team effort, from the cast and theatre staff, to the original calendar girls and local Bloodwise branch volunteers. This musical is not only helping to raise funds for the work we do but also awareness of blood cancer. We can’t thank everyone involved in this special production enough for their support and kindness in helping people affected by the disease in so many different ways.”
The Gary Barlow and Tim Firth penned musical had month-long residence at Leeds Grand from November 14 to December 12.
Tim Firth said it was an “extraordinary fundraising figure” and hopes the forthcoming shows in Manchester in January will boost it further.