Steel Magnolias

Venue : Redditch Palace Theatre

Date : February 1994

Genre : Comedy Drama

Director

Val Archer

Val Archer

Director

Cast

Estelle Shutkever

Truvy Jones

Rachel Chew

Annelle Dupuy-Desoto

Beryl Linforth

Clairee Belcher

Sue George

Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie

Anne Cherry

M Lynn Eatenton

Angela Smith

Ouiser Boudreaux

Jonathan Prior

DJ\'S Voice

Crew

Joy Rodgers

Stage Manager

Anna Ahmed

Assistant Stage Manager

Dave Wilkins

Set Design

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Bill Arris

Set Design

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Bill Arris

Set Construction

Ted Rodgers

Set Construction

Dave Wilkins

Set Construction

Tony Goswell

Lighting and Sound

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Patrick Taylor

Lighting and Sound

Denise Williams

Properties

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Maddy Dawe

Properties

Audrey Parkes

Properties

Steve O’Hara

Photography

Crew

Joy Rodgers

Stage Manager

Anna Ahmed

Assistant Stage Manager

Dave Wilkins

Set Design

Bill Arris

Set Design

Bill Arris

Set Construction

Ted Rodgers

Set Construction

Dave Wilkins

Set Construction

Tony Goswell

Lighting and Sound

Patrick Taylor

Lighting and Sound

Denise Williams

Properties

Maddy Dawe

Properties

Audrey Parkes

Properties

Steve O’Hara

Photography

Production Gallery

Reviews

Moving script takes roof off beauty salon

IT'S like being put into a trance. You start out dodgy-accent spotting and on the lookout for wobbly props, the next minute you're a fly on the wall in a backwater beauty salon in Louisiana. Psychologists call it 'suspension of disbelief.' I call it magic.

The Wythall Theatre Group produce the effect in buckets. The gang's latest offering, Steel Magnolias, directed by Wythall veteran Val Archer, mesmerised a first night house at the Palace Theatre, Redditch.

Robert Harling's witty and moving script lifts the roof of a small-town beauty parlour, allowing the men in the audience a privileged glimpse into an alien world where a gathering of three or four women for minor refurbishment automatically becomes a support group. It needs to be.

Truvy Jones (Estellc Shutkever), the salon's owner, has a sofa-slug for a husband and two sons about to fly the nest. Her bumbling assistant Annelle (Rachel Chew) has mislaid her spouse and found Jesus.

Gun-crazy M'lynne (Anne Cherry) has a gun-crazy husband and prob-lems with daughter Shelby (Sue Lister.) Shelby decorates her hair with Baby's Breath on her wedding day and probably has her head stuffed with it as well.

Clairee (Beryl Linforth) is a widow, and Aunt 'Ouiser' (Angela Smith) is twice-divorced and as peevish as a polecat.

Their humour has a jagged edge and yet the warmth that emanates from each and every one of them is almost palpable.

The six-strong cast gave magnificent performances. Their accents didn't waver, their delivery of the many, wicked one-liners was immaculate, and the two emotionally-charged scenes involving Shelby and M'lynne were quite simply hair-raising.

As the cast lined up at the end, and we all came back to reality, I realised I'd been taken for a ride.

An extremely enjoyable one.

David Whipp, Bromsgrove Advertiser


Triumph of team work by the cast

Robert T. Harling's look at life in a beauty salon in America's Deep South receives a worthy airing in Val Archer's excellent production.

The pace never flags, the witty high- lights are splendidly delivered and when the moment of high drama comes it is handled with accom-plishment. Estelle Shutkever (Truvy) and Angela Smith (Ouiser) give exemplary accounts of the two outstanding "characters" of the piece - but this is above all a triumph of teamwork.

The accents are maintained - although this does not always help with comprehension particularly if the speaker is looking upstage.

But this is a production well up to the standard which followers of this talented company have come to expect.

John Slim, Birmingham Evening Mail