Steel Magnolias

Performance Review (Adapted from the April 2013 Newsletter)
 
On the 11th - 13th April, the Jubilee Players delivered a sparkling, funny and emotionally charged performance of Steel Magnolias. The story is written for an all-female cast and is set in a small-town beauty parlour in Louisiana USA, spanning almost three years in the late 1980s. The action revolves around the intertwining lives of the clients of Truvy's beauty parlour, who gossip and argue over a range of personal issues. When tragedy strikes, their relationships are severely tested, but the 'steel' of their characters and bonds see them through.
 
Newcomer Filipa Garrido made a delightful young and spirited Shelby who despite a diabetic condition has a baby, suffers kidney failure and dies even though her mother sacrifices her own kidney to help her daughter.
 
Jan Tunley as Selby's mother, delivered a most powerful performance. Her tirade against life's unfairnes and cruelty  wrenched many a heart in the audience and created a poignant dramatic highpoint.  She survives the emotional trauma  with the support of the cussed optimism and ironic humour of her friends.
 
Truvy's other friends include Ouiser Boudreaux, a grouchy, twice widowed curmudgeon, played with appropriate cynicism by Ann Pollard and Clairee Belcher, a more cheerful widow with a great store of witty one-liners, mostly directed at Ouisier.
 
Joyce Baxter exploited the wit and irony of Clairee with an enjoyment that conveyed itself to the audience.
 
Chris Brown confidently captured the romantic and good-hearted nature of Truvy as she strove to keep her clients together and to help her new assistant, Annelle, develop her skills and cope with her relationship problems. Truvy is the benign glue of the beauty parlour ensemble.
 
Christine Garvey, with a crisp delivery, skilfully showed Annelle's initial immaturity and then her growing confidence throughout the play.
 
Andy Holmes with a most convincing American accent, made a perfect, heard but not seen, lone male participant as the offstage DJ.
 
Despite tragic events the mood of the play is positive and life enhancing. The script is packed with witty and ironic audience-pleasing one-liners that eschew self-pity focusing instead on a steely 'life goes on' philosophy. Yes, we did feel good at the end!
 
Congratulations to Patti Reed who directed the play with skill, understanding and faultless casting.
 
Thanks to all the other numerous helpers who gave their time and a vast range of skills  to bring the production to fruition.