Steel Magnolias - performed May 2007
By Robert Harling
Performed with the kind permission of Samuel French Ltd
Director - Caroline RobertsDirecting my first main production for the Manifest has been a great experience and it has been a pleasure to work with such a talented and supportive cast and crew.
Usually up on the stage myself, the only drawback I have found to directing such a brilliant play is that you can't be in it! I have been blessed however, with finding six actresses who, each in their own way, have brought these wonderful characters to life and I would like to thank them for putting their faith in me, a novice director. As always, any production is a team effort and I hope you'll agree that this "team" has worked very hard to bring you an evening of laughter, emotion and entertainment.
We've certainly had a lot of fun and laughter putting the play together and we hope that you, the audience we've been doing it all for, enjoy it as much as we have. So am I pleased with my first production? Suffice to say I'm tickled pink!
Cast(in order of appearance)
Production TeamCaroline Roberts, Val Taylor, Bruce Emeny, Andy Terry, Daniel Humphreys, John Roberts, Roger Licence, Peter Scott, Derek Butcher, Patience LIng, Gloria Streames, Kerry King, Lester Pearse, Yvonne Cobbold, Viv Wheatley, Steve Sadler, and other volunteers not mentioned.
Awards & Nominations2007 Nominations by the North East Essex Theatre Guild;
The PlayThe action is set in Truvy's beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where all the ladies who are "anybody" come to have their hair done. Helped by her eager new assistant, Annelle (who is not sure whether or not she is still married), the outspoken, wise-cracking Truvy dispenses shampoos and free advice to the town's rich curmudgeon, Ouiser, ("I'm not crazy, I've just been in a bad mood for forty years"); an eccentric millionaire, Miss Clairee, who has a raging sweet tooth; and the local social leader, M'Lynn, whose daughter, Shelby (the prettiest girl in town), is about to marry a "good ole boy." Filled with hilarious repartee and not a few acerbic but humorously revealing verbal collisions, the play moves toward tragedy when, in the second act, the spunky Shelby (who is a diabetic) risks pregnancy and forfeits her life. The sudden realization of their mortality affects the others, but also draws on the underlying strength—and love—which give the play, and its characters, the special quality to make them truly touching, funny and marvelously amiable company in good times and bad.
ReviewsIn sporting parlance, this was a play of two halves.
During the first act it was had to see where the plot, if any, was going but the second proved far more interesting as all become clear. Steel Magnolias, was written by Robert Harling and based on true events in his own life. Acclaimed in both this country and the USA, it has been successfully turned into a Hollywood film.
Set in a beauty shop in Louisiana, it centred on a group of six friends. At times funny, it also became very sad towards the end, putting the audience on something of an emotional rollercoaster.
As ever, the amateur thespians gave another professional performance, and Caroline Roberts is to be congratulated on
directing her first main production. The six-woman cast was outstanding. All on stage most of the time, they were word
perfect and their accents never faltered.
Emma, Amanda, Kerry, Helen, Alison, Val