Gary Barlow and Tim Firth's musical The Girls has raised an impressive £30,605 for charity.
The show from the Frodsham duo, which ran over three weeks at the Lowry in January, was based on the true story of the plucky WI calendar girls who made a nude calendar to raise funds in memory of member Angela Baker’s husband who died of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
The public showed their support by helping to raise the cash from bucket collections after each performance of the musical penned by the Take That star from Frodsham and his Alvanley pal Tim Firth.
The money will be donated to blood cancer charity Bloodwise – formerly known as Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research and long associated with the girls’ story.
The original Calendar Girls joined volunteers from the charity’s Stockport, Wigan and Honley and Huddersfield branches with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, Salford Women’s Institute, cast members and local supporters to hold collections after each show
And a signed cardboard cut-out of A Million Love Songs singer Gary, who stepped out on stage to surprise the audience twice during the show’s run, raised an additional £230 in an auction.
Angela said: “The public have been so supportive over the years and we have been blown away yet again by their generosity.
“Every night we’ve been collecting hundreds upon hundreds of pounds, with over £3,000 donated alone on the final night in Manchester.
“This musical has added another very special chapter to the Calendar Girls story and has presented the opportunity to raise even more money for Bloodwise.
“I know John would have been very, very proud.”
Bloodwise chief executive Cathy Gilman said: “It has been such a team effort, from the cast, production team and theatre staff, to the original Girls and Bloodwise volunteers.
“The generosity of the public has meant that this musical has raised in excess of £57,000 for our work in saving patients’ lives.
“We can’t thank everyone involved enough for their support and kindness in helping people affected by the disease in so many different ways, and hope for more good news about the show in the not too distant future!”
It is now hoped that The Girls can travel to London’s West End after wowing audiences in Salford and Leeds.