At the weekend I went to the theatre with my girlfriend and some friends to watch the production of The Girls, a new musical produced by Gary Barlow and Tim Firth and based on the hit Calendar Girls.
Although I haven’t seen Calendar Girls I know the overall story plot yet I was still unsure of what to expect. I’m not a fan of musicals and, if I am completely honest, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the performance very much. However I was pleasantly surprised. The cast were all excellent and the plot was moving, funny and, in my opinion, surprisingly feminist.
I won’t spoil the play for anyone who is planning on seeing it (I would definitely recommend it, by the way) but I will say that the way the female characters rally around one another and offer heaps of support in light of the events was truly refreshing to see.
The women work through their differences and begin to encourage and empower one another as the play progresses. The way we see these female characters build one another up is in stark contrast to the negative portrayal of women as bitchy, jealous characters that has become all too common.
In addition to the overall feel of a sisterhood that was portrayed in The Girls each character had their own message to give to the audience and two of these really stood out to me.
The first was one character who admitted she had previously had cosmetic surgery and spoke out saying she refused to be ashamed by it. The character acknowledges that it is her body and her choice and states she will not be made to feel inferior to the other women because of her decision to change a part of her body she did not love.
She believes all women have the right to love their physical appearance, (I second that) and if that means they have to resort to cosmetic surgery then so be it.
The second character who really struck me was the oldest of the group who decided to take part in making the calendar despite people suggesting she shouldn’t due to her age.
She shocked everyone by going through with it and demonstrating that women of all ages are beautiful and that we should not be ashamed of our physical appearance simply because we have gotten a little older.
Despite my initial thoughts regarding the play I thoroughly enjoyed it and took a few little pearls of wisdom home with me. I left the theatre feeling uplifted and quite moved by the blatant display of girl power that I had just witnessed.
Image by The Girls Musical Official Website