May 2015

Steel Magnolias
by Robert Harling



Directed by
Jonathan Scripps

A palpable sense of community
and cameraderie
Michael Gray

An entertaining evening that was also moving to experience
Mary Redman


More Reviews

Steel Magnolias is a quintessential story of friendship and trust.  It is set in Truvy's beauty parlour in Chinquapin, Louisiana where she and her ladies come together to engage in small-town gossip.

From weddings to divorces, babies to funerals, new beginnings to happy endings, they share each moment in their lives with grace and determination.  When tragedy strikes, it is in the familiar comfort of Truvy's salon where they seek the solace and support that carries them through.



We are in the beauty parlour where Annelle is styling Truvy's hair as a try-out for a position there.  Truvy is impressed and Annelle is hired.



Clairee arrives to have her wind-blown hair fixed after opening a football stadium dedicated to her late husband.



It is Shelby's wedding day and she comes to have her hair specially styled for it.  She brings a photo of Princess Grace to copy and a box of Baby's Breath.



M'Lynn, Shelby's mother, arrives for her hair appointment.  She is not impressed with her daughter's choice of hair style or her desire for an all-pink wedding.



Shelby suddenly collapses and M'Lynn gives her some juice explaining that she is diabetic and needs to drink.



It is now Christmas time and Shelby is married.  She comes to the salon to tell her mother she is pregnant.  M'Lynn is horrified as the doctors have advised Shelby it is dangerous to have children.



Annelle tells everyone that she has joined a church and is now a born-again Christian.



Ouiser enters in a huff and complains that tourists arriving for the local parade are parking on her lawn.  Annelle tells her she needs to join in the Chrismas spirit.



Shelby tells the gathering that she is going to have a baby and everyone whoops for joy except M'Lynn.  She is very worried for Shelby but puts a brave face on things.



Eighteen months have passed and Shelby is the mother of a son.  She has come to Truvy's to have her hair styled very short.



Shelby decides to have a manicure and Ouiser enters bringing everyone tomatoes.  She says that she has found letters in her mailbox inviting her to church.  Annelle explains that they are part of her church's "Reach Out" project.



Annelle announces that she is taking a vacation to a Christian camp in the Ozark mountains.  Ouiser tries to wind her up but to no avail.



Truvy discovers bruising on Shelby's arm and she reveals that her kidneys have failed and she is now on dialysis.  Everyone is shocked.



Shelby is to have a transplant using one of M'Lynn's kidneys.  As she prepares to go into hospital the ladies give her a present of a pink bed jacket.



On a cold November day six months later the ladies are talking.  Something very bad has obviously happened.



M'Lynn explains that Shelby's transplant had failed.  She had then gone downhill into a coma and died.  She describes how the family had stayed with her until the end.



M'Lynn just wants to know how this has all happened.  She wants to hit something and hit it hard.




Annelle who is expecting her own baby tells M'Lynn that she and her husband Sammy want to name it Shelby as she was the reason they met in the first place.  M'Lynn is tickled pink and says -
"That's the way it should be. Life goes on."

Cast

ANNELLE:
TRUVY:
CLAIREE:
SHELBY:
M'LYNN:
OUISER:

Saira Plane
Marcia Baldry-Bryan
Madeline Harmer
Sonia Lindsey-Scripps
Pam Hemming
Lynda Shelverton