PRAISE has been showered upon the cast of an uplifting musical about a group of women who created a nude calendar for charity.

Calendar Girls, which was performed by the Barrow Operatic and Dramatic Society (Bods), opened last Tuesday to a packed audience at the Forum and received a standing ovation at the end.

It was the first performance of a six-show run on Barrow’s stage, which took audience members through a ‘rollercoaster of emotions’.

Calendar Girls follows the lives of six members of a Yorkshire branch of the Women's Institute and is based on the true story of the death of Angela Baker's husband John Richard Baker, who died from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at the age of 54 in 1998.

What followed was an inspirational and daring challenge to raise money in memory of John and to support others living through similar ordeals by creating a nude calendar featuring carefully-placed cake and flower arrangements.

One audience member said: "I laughed until I cried and cried until I laughed.”

Another audience member remarked: "It was like being at a football match; the crowd roaring their approval.”

Some theatre-goers described the show as the best they had seen in a long time.

Marie Sullivan said: “Hard to remember they are all amateurs and have day jobs. It was an absolutely brilliant production. Our area is so full of talent.”

Angela McIlvogue said: “It was the best production I've seen in a while. The cast were amazing.”

Jeannie Helling Richardson said: “Couldn’t congratulate Bods more, they were all totally amazing! Best production we’ve seen in a long time.”

Vi Roberts said: “Me and my friends thought it was brilliant. Better than the film. Well done all involved.”