Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s musical based on the true story of The Calendar Girls is officially open at the Phoenix Theatre. But what have critics made of it? 

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The Guardian: **** “Gary Barlow and Tim Firth have collaborated on a delightful musical that is far superior both to the 2009 play, Calendar Girls, and to the 2003 movie on which it was based.”

The Telegraph: **** “Not a fully rounded pleasure, then, but for all its obvious blemishes, it’s still a beaut.”

Broadway World: **** “Sentimental and cosy, yes, but it’s hard to deny its triumphant spirit and glorious ensemble power.”

WhatsOnStage: *** “for a show that tries to present these women as unconventional, this is a deeply conventional show. Yet The Girls also blossoms into a feel-good hit as bright as a field of sunflowers.”

The Stage: ***** ” it stays faithful to its sense of time and place, but also deepens and amplifies the sense of intimate connection to the audience with a series of instantly catchy and moving songs”

The Independent: ***** “it’s the definitive riposte to any notion that the calendar girls are getting overexposed.”

The FT: **** “It’s flawed, for sure, but this joyous, cathartic musical looks set to see out many calendars.”

London Theatre.co.uk: ***** ” just as Elton John brought a populist style to Billy Elliot (another film to stage musical based on a real-life story), so this score has a tuneful contemporary pop sensibility, but also is character and story driven to belong in the theatre.”

Musical Theatre Review: ***** “Barlow’s music works well to further flesh out the story and the characters.”

Jonathan Baz Reviews: **** “Firth and Barlow’s songs have a sweet simplicity with an occasional touch of genius in the lyrics.”

The Reviews Hub: *** “There’s a lot of joy to be had in seeing The Girls but it does, despite being five years in the making, feel like it’s opened a little too early with too many creases yet to be ironed out.”

The Upcoming: **** “The musical strikes the right balance between humour and tragedy.”

Evening Standard: **** “It’s certainly agreeable, but definitely from the cosy rather than groundbreaking school of theatre.”

British Theatre Guide: “The Girls is ridiculously sentimental but with enough pathos to bring a tear to the eye, particularly in a glorious final sunflowery flourish.”

The Daily Mail: ***** “Fruity comic acting, big songs, a judicious mix of schmaltz and Yorkshire salt: this show will have you wobbling one way or another.”

Theatre Weekly: **** “The Girls is good, it just doesn’t live up to the monumentally high expectations which have been bestowed upon it.”

Londonist: **** “The Girls is ultimately a feel good piece, with a positive message about embracing life, but it does not shy away from the tragedies, both great and small, that everyone faces in their lives, and can have the audience howling with laughter one minute and almost crying the next.”

The Mirror:  “Although not the most glamorous musical, it celebrates good old British girl power, and challenges convention (and ageism), like no other.”

Time Out: *** “what might have been the debut of a major new West End force feels virtually indistinguishable from a dozen other mildly charming Brit musicals of the last decade or so.”

London News Online: ***** “The pair has cleverly captured the enduring appeal of the very British story of heroism and unlike the smash hit film-which starred Helen Mirren and Julie Walters-and subsequent stage play, have ensured the community are at the very heart of the action.”

The Girls is now playing  at the Phoenix Theatre.To buy tickets for the production visit Ticketmaster.co.uk , ATG Tickets , Discount Theatre.com, Last Minute.com, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Love Theatre.com, Theatre People.com and UK Tickets.co.uk

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