STEEL MAGNOLIAS by Robert Harling, Directed by Jan Paterson - Brisbane Arts Theatre


Steel Magnolias Cast - Brisbane Arts Theatre.  Article written and photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.


  M'Lynn (Pauline Campton) getting her hair washed by Annelle.  Article written and photo taken by Chrissy Layton, AusNotebook Music & Creative.
M'Lynn (Pauline Campton) getting her hair washed by Annelle
(Stacey Muller)



(Left) Annelle (Stacey Muller), (Middle bottom) Shelby (Georgia Cranstoun),  (End bottom) M'Lynn (Pauline  Campton), (Above right) Clairee Belcher (Tracey Ollington) and (Above left)  Ouiser Boudreaux (Elspeth Peake), Truvy (Allyson Dowdle) is absent

A local group of women congregate at Truvy's  (Allyson Dowdle) Beauty Salon, where they gossip and giggle while preparing one another for life's little tragedies and terrific triumphs.  M'Lynn Eatenton's (Pauline Campton) daughter Shelby (Georgia Cranstoun) was preparing for her upcoming wedding. Quirky newcomer Annelle (Stacey Muller) is Truvy's latest assistant, whose peculiar past is enough to gain her acceptance into the cliquish coffee klatch. And then there’s Ouiser Boudreaux (Elspeth Peake) and wealthy society maven Clairee Belcher (Tracey Ollington) who both added a delight of a soft approach to ‘love and pick on each other’ type of a relationship. Much to her mother's dismay, Shelby's planning to have children, which is a serious health concern because she's severely diabetic. Luckily these steel magnolias can lean on one another for support in good and bad times. STEEL MAGNOLIAS is a touching and hilarious tribute to the strength and loyalty of southern women, directed by Jan Paterson.  This play, unlike the movie has a cast that only consist of women.



Comments from people that attended the 'Steel Magnolias' production held at the Brisbane Arts Theatre, Brisbane.  The production ran from January 28, 2006 until February 25, 2006 from Thursdays - Sundays. Bookings or information for future plays at the Brisbane Arts Theatre, please phone 07-3369 2344



Colleen Lock from Mansfield (Teachers Aide at the school of Business Education).

It was a difficult choice for Colleen to say who was her favourite character but she decided on Clairee Belcher.   “I haven’t seen this play before but I have seen the film a long time ago so I am enjoying it,” she says.  “There is quite good dialogue between them (the characters) and there is a nice sense of humour that they’ve got.  I’m enjoying a dryer sense of humour that I did not think the Americans had.  I feel the cast is sustaining the American ascent well”.

Manjella Vanhoff from Ipswich (Teacher)

Manjella’s favourite character is Annelle played by her friend Stacey Muller.  “I’m loving it (the show) and think it is very entertaining,” says Manjella.  Manjella also commented that she liked the setup of the beauty salon.

Bill Wilson from Albany Creek (Retired)  

Bill’s favourite character was “the lady with the wig on”  Clairee Belcher.  Bill admitted he is probably missing some of the dialogue because he finds it difficult to understand (due to the Southern American ascent) but he felt it is good that the cast can maintain the ascent.   “I think they are pretty good,” he adds.    

Catherine Doe from Sandgate 

“I think the show is very enjoyable,” says Catherine.  “It’s fast pace, and it’s moving along.   I’m waiting for something to happen, as I am looking at the lead up.”  Catherine did not have a favourite character as she was “enjoying everybody at the moment”.  Catherine attends many theatre productions and enjoys amateur theatre.

Harold Doe from Stafford Heights

Harold stated he was “Enjoying the show very much.  I always enjoy the shows here (Brisbane Arts Theatre) and never miss any.” Harold is a member of the Brisbane Arts Theatre and attends many shows.  Harold found the play interesting especially the fact that there are “no men in the play” and was “waiting for a man to come onto the scene”.  Harold highlights, “There is obviously one around because she (Shelby) is going to have a baby.”  He further added, “The cast are carrying their different parts very well.”     Harold was concern in the early stages that he was going to have trouble understanding the ascents but said once he got in tuned with it, he felt the cast were doing very well.  His favourite character was “the assistant to the hairdresser” Annelle Duputy-Desoto.  Harold felt “this character did well by changing from a timid little thing to one that becomes quite forceful and speaks their mind”. 



Jennifer Kerr from Forest Lake (Queensland Government, Admin Officer)

“I thought the play was very good and very similar to the movie and I liked Shelby’s mother M’Lynn Eatenton,” says Jennifer.  “I enjoyed the end when Shelby had died and how the actress (Pauline Campton) played the very emotional part so well. I also liked the ascent of all the characters and I thoroughly enjoyed it (the play) and thought the play was quite entertaining”.   Jennifer also commented that she thought the character of Shelby was also quite good.  “After seeing this show I think I will try going and see some more local plays and support the local community,” Jennifer said.


Associated article:  Pauline Campton

Photos and interviews conducted by Chrissy Layton - AusNotebook Music & Creative  (1/3/06)


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