A CITY playwright is putting down her pen to tread the boards.

Gail Young, author of the hugely successful Cheshire Cats, is playing Marie, the social climbing chairman of Knapeley WI in Tip Top Productions’s version of Tim Firth’s smash hit Calendar Girls, which opened at the Forum Studio Theatre on Monday.

The role was played by Geraldine James in the 2003 film which starred Helen Mirren and Julie Walters.

A keen amateur actor, Gail hasn’t been on stage she was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago.

She said: “I’ve done lots of directing but I’m really looking forward to treading the boards again.

“I’m enjoying being told what to do instead of the other way around!”

Written in 2005, Gail’s play Cheshire Cats, about a group of women from Cheshire participating in The Moonwalk in London to support the Walk the Walk charity for breast cancer care, has become a global phenomenon since publishers Samuel French added it to their list in 2011.

A group of young people in Rotorua in New Zealand will perform it as a fund raiser for breast cancer charities later this month and a Flemish version of the comedy will be staged in Mechelen, in Belgium next year.

It has also been performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and throughout the UK and was last performed in Chester in 2011. The English department of Lipson Community College in Plymouth is also using the play as part of an A level module, comparing it to Oscar Wilde’s comedy The Importance of Being Earnest.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” said Gail. “And what’s so important for me is that these international performances are going to help raise money for breast cancer charities - which is what I always wanted to happen.”

Gail wrote a preface for the play to suggest that whoever puts it on considers giving some of the proceeds to charity.

Calendar Girls runs at The Forum Studio Theatre until September 22.