A MANNINGTREE theatre production saw life imitating art as it raised hundreds of pounds for a cancer charity.

Calendar Girls, adapted from the 2003 film and directed by Kerry King, was staged at the Manifest Theatre last week.

The sell-out show raised £380 for the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity, named after the late BBC broadcaster who lost her battle to cancer in 1999, aged 43.

Kerry said: “Great Bromley Women’s Institute also gave us some goodies to sell which helped us raise the money. 

“Because Calendar Girls is a true story about raising money for leukaemia, we wanted to reflect that with a local charity, Helen Rollason.

“Helen Rollason treats the person and their psychological welfare, the NHS looks after their physical welfare.

“They’ve got a holistic approach. They treat the person’s mental welfare as much as anything else.”

Gemma Woodhurst, who is the community fundraiser for Helen Rollason Cancer Charity, said: "Kerry contacted us in October and came into the office to tell us about the production of Calendar Girls that she was directing at the Manningtree theatre.

"She wanted to support a cancer charity just like the Calendar Girls production did years ago.

"A few of the ladies she knew had been to Helen Rollason Cancer Charity to get support whilst they were receiving cancer treatment.

"They found us really supportive and invaluable to them.

"The production was a huge success, and we are so thankful to Kerry and the WI ladies for helping to raise awareness of our charity and what we do.

"A big thank you for raising £380."