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Steel Magnolias | Blackbird Productions

STEEL MAGNOLIAS..fragile as flowers, strong as steel

The heart-warming story of friendship, love and life will begin a new stage life in Sydney from June 5 to 28 in the York Theatre at The Seymour Centre, followed by a 23-week Australian tour.

With over 150 performances scheduled the show will to tour to 30 venues with a fully functioning hair dressing salon set. The production will cover 30,000 km’s travelling to cities including Adelaide, Ballarat, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Launceston, Rockhampton, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga.

A luminous cast of Australia’s favourite actors has been selected to portray six funny and fabulous women in the American South including Ana Maria Belo, Jennifer Hagan, Debra Lawrance, Marian Frizelle, Geraldine Turner and Jacki Weaver.

Robert Harling (Soapdish, First Wives Club), whose creation went from off-Broadway play to worldwide smash hit movie in only three years, will attend the Sydney opening on Saturday June 6. His play was written as a cathartic tribute to his sister, whom he’d lost to Type 1 Diabetes, and the story is that of his own family. He will also appear as a special guest In Conversation at the Sydney Writers Festival on May 22.

“The play's theme is that life must go on” says Director Darren Yap “and although the seasons pass with different challenges these six 'steel magnolias' withstand the hardships of life through enduring friendship and wonderful humour.”

Set entirely in the local hair and beauty salon of a small Louisiana town, Steel Magnolias follows the lives of six women who all have dynamic personalities including wise-cracking beauty salon proprietor Truvy Jones who firmly believes that ‘there is no such thing as natural beauty’. Truvy will be played by one of Australia’s best loved and most respected performers – Jacki Weaver.

Truvy’s new ‘glamour technician’ is the mysterious newcomer to town Annelle Dupuy and will be bought to life by Ana Maria Belo whose television credits include All Saints, Home and Away and White Collar Blue. Salon regular and elegant widow of the former town mayor is millionaire Clairee Belcher and will be portrayed by Jennifer Hagan a NIDA graduate who has acted in companies throughout Australia mainly MTC and STC. It is the unlikely friendship between Clairee and the sharp tongued, cantankerous, retired, divorcee and town eccentric Ouiser Boudreaux that inspire many hilarious one-liners. With a bark that is worse than her bite, Ousier will be brought to life by Geraldine Turner.

Over the past three decades Geraldine has firmly established herself as a public favourite and a consummate performer. Following in the footsteps of Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts who began their careers playing the role of Shelby will be Marian Frizelle. Since graduating in 2006 from the Australian Actors Centre, Marian has lived between Sydney and Los Angeles. She is an exciting newcomer to the Australian stage and one to watch. Playing M’Lynn the town social worker and mother of Shelby is one of Australia’s favourite TV mum’s Debra Lawrance, perhaps best known for her 8-year role as Pippa on Home and Away.

The last professional production of Steel Magnolias staged in Australia was in 1988 starring Nancye Hayes, Genevieve Lemon, Maggie Dence, Pat McDonald, Melissa Jaffer and then newcomer Nicole Kidman as Shelby.

Producers: Blackbird Productions

Director: Darren Yap

Designer: Graham MacLean

Lighting Designer: Bernie Tan
Incidental Music: David Shrubsole
Sound Designer: Paul Hitchens

Originally produced by the WPA Theatre, New York City, 1987 (Kyle Kenick, Artistic Director)

York Theatre, Seymour Centre - 5 - 28 June
Tuesday-Saturday 8pm*

Matinees: Wednesday 1pm Saturday 2pm Sunday 3pm
*Saturday 6 June is a 7.00pm performance


Book at Ticketek: 1300 795 012 or ticketek.com.au

Seymour Centre Box Office: (02) 9351 7940 or www.seymourcentre.com.au

VIP, Hotel & Dining packages: 1300 4 SHOWS or www.showbiz.com.au

Robert Harling will also appear in conversation at the Sydney Writers’ Festival on May 22 www.swf.org.au


Dates: Sunday 28 June 2009 – Tuesday 21 July 2009



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