Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new musical The Girls based on the hit film and play Calendar Girls has announced casting of the lead female roles. The cast will be led by Debbie Chazen as Ruth, Sara Kestelman as Jessie, Claire Machin as Cora, Claire Moore as Chris, Vivien Parry as Celia, Joanna Riding as Annie and Harriet Thorpe as Marie.

Harriet Thorpe is well known for playing Fleur in the Jennifer Saunders comedy Absolutely Fabulous and Carole in the sitcom The Brittas Empire; Debbie Chazen played Ethel Kingsley in Mike Leigh’s film Topsy-Turvy and her many television credits include the lead roles of Annie in Smoking Room and Kelly-Su Crabtree in Psychoville; Claire Machin’s credits include My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, Betty Blue Eyes and Memphis; Claire Moore appeared as Ellen in the original cast of Miss Saigon. Her other credits include Christine in The Phantom of the Opera and Fantine and Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables; and Joanna Riding’s many theatre credits include Carousel, My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, The Witches of Eastwick, A Little Night Music, Blithe Spirit, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and Stephen Ward.

The Girl’s will premiere at the Leeds Grand (14 November 2015 – 12 December 2015), going on to the Lowry Salford (8 January 2016 – 30 January 2016), after which it will likely transfer to the West End