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

Production 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