By Robert Harling

Concept Players present Steel MagnoliasWe toured this award winning production in September 2008 having rehearsed over the summer. This play had been on our "to do" list for years. As it is a female only play we knew it would always be possible to cast as we have a number of great ladies who could play the parts. We asked Ruairidh, who had directed The Importance of Being Earnest and Sweeney Todd, to do honours this time.

Rehearsals were a scream from start to finish. It is fair to say that they often disintegrated into giggling fits as we laughed at each others antics. The things that did cause us concern, procuring the set and doing the hair, actually were solved early on - the Gods must have been smiling on us.

Final sceneThe set was simple as always but effective. No box set but a stylised salon - all pinks and yellows - reflecting the sunny nature of the proprietor of the salon, Truvy, and the colour of the main protagonist, Shelby. Even the scene change music was chosen to reflect this feeling of sunshine - Color My World - the cast can sing that one in their sleep!

The audiences were superb and we were nominated in a number of Glamorgan Drama League award categories, Lorna narrowly missing out on Best Actress and we were shortlisted for Best Production, winning Best Supporting Actress for the superb performance from Sarah Leigh as Shelby. A great result and a great performance by the whole team!



Assembling the cast was no easy feat as we ended up having nearly three people audition for every role. The up side to this is, of course, that he ended up with a very strong cast. The main aim for Ruairidh was to have a cast who could not only act the parts convincingly but also have one that would bond and have fun, as it is this camaraderie that pervades the script. It is, after all, about a bunch of friends that get together to gossip, trade stories and, most importantly, give support to each other in times of need. He needn't have worried!


Shelby and M'Lynn

Sarah Leigh won our first ever Glamorgan Drama League Award for Best Supporting Actress in this wonderful play!