Birds of a Feather actress Lesley Joseph will join the cast of the UK & Ireland tour of Calendar Girls The Musical.

The tour of Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s musical comedy will open on 23 April 2019 in Southend with Joseph playing the role of Jessie until 10 August 2019 in Eastbourne when Ruth Madoc returns to the role.

Best known for playing Dorien Green in the ITV sitcom Birds of a Feather, Lesley Josephs numerous theatrical credits include Frau Blücher in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein in the West End, Miss Hannigan in Annie (West End and UK Tour), Chris in the play of Calendar Girls (UK Tour), The Vagina Monologues (West End and UK Tour), and Kathleen in Sir Peter Hall’s production of Home (Theatre Royal Bath).

Lesley joins the previously announced cast starring Sarah Jane Buckley (Kathy Barnes in Hollyoaks) as Annie, Sue Devaney (soon to be seen in the new Russell T. Davies series Years and Years, Jane in Dinnerladies, Debbie Webster in Coronation) as Cora, Julia Hills (Doctor Kemp in Broadchurch) as Ruth, Judy Holt (Scott & Bailey) as Marie and Lisa Maxwell (Tracey Donovan in Hollyoaks) as Celia.

Inspired by the true story of a group of ladies who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar in order to raise funds, the musical previously played in Leeds and Manchester before a six-month London season at the Phoenix Theatre in 2017.

It went on to win the WhatsOnStage Award for Best Regional Production and was nominated for three Olivier Awards.

Lesley Joseph will appear in the production at the following theatres: Cliffs Pavilion Southend (23 – 27 April), Grand Opera House Belfast (14 – 25 May), Birmingham Hippodrome (28 May – 8 June), Glasgow King’s Theatre (11 – 22 June), Theatre Royal Nottingham (25 June – 6 July), Bristol Hippodrome (9 July – 20 July), Theatre Royal Plymouth (23 July – 3 August) and Congress Theatre Eastbourne (6 – 10 August).