INDEPENDENT NEWS

Steel Magnolias Set To Delight At THE EDGE®

Published: Fri 19 Nov 2004 08:36 AM
Steel Magnolias Set To Delight
By Robert Harling
By arrangement with Samuel French Ltd
1-13 February 2005
Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE®
Director Amanda Rees
Designer John Parker
Starring Donogh Rees, Ascia Maybury, Jacque Drew, Abigail Greenwood, Joy Watson, Irene Boorman
Steel Magnolias Set To Delight
“Honey, there’s so much static electricity in here I pick up everything except boys and money”.
A sparkling comedy; a kitsch 80’s hair salon; eccentric women; big hair, big smiles – the delightfully funny and engaging play Steel Magnolias comes to Auckland’s Aotea Centre in February 2005.
Shelby is getting married. Ouiser's dog is losing its hair. Annelle's husband has disappeared. When six cross-generational friends meet every Saturday at Truvy's hair salon the teasing really begins. These gorgeous Southern gals rival to tell the best tale and crack the best joke, but when events take a turn towards tragedy their love and friendship comes to the fore.
Directed by Amanda Rees and starring Donogh Rees, Ascia Maybury, Jacque Drew, Abigail Greenwood, Joy Watson and Irene Boorman, Steel Magnolias runs from 1-13 February at the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE® as part of the STAMP programme.
"I'm delighted to be working with such a talented group of women and bringing Steel Magnolias to Auckland audiences," Amanda says.
Robert Harling's sparkling and moving comedy was first produced on stage in 1987 and was based on real events in Harling's life. In 1989 he wrote the screenplay for the smash-hit Hollywood movie of the same name starring Julia Roberts, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine, Olympia Dukakis, Sally Field and Daryl Hannah.
"The film was a big hit, but the play is better - it's flamboyant, sharp and sparkles with brilliant wit, whimsical stories and utter pathos."
Steel Magnolias opens at the Herald Theatre, Aotea Centre, THE EDGE® on Tuesday 1 February and runs until 13 February; Tuesday to Saturdays 8pm; matinees on Saturdays 2pm and Sundays 4pm. Book at Ticketek (09) 307 5000 or http://www.ticketek.co.nz.
Cast Biographies:
THE CAST
“Flamboyant, sharp and delightful this play shines with brilliant wit, whimsical stories and utter pathos” - Amanda Rees, Director
Amanda has been working as an actress for the last 14 years and also works as a casting director, producer and theatre director. She is delighted to work on Steel Magnolias with such a talented cast of women.
“[the good thing is…] It’ll make my waist smaller, because they take out my bottom ribs to get my kidney out” – M’Lynn, mother of the bride (Donogh Rees)
Donogh has been a notable actress for the past 25 years, starting out in theatre and moving between film and television roles. Winner of Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in the film Crush, Donogh is currently core cast in Shortland Street playing Head Nurse Judy Brownlee.
“I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful, than a lifetime of nothing special” – Shelby, the bride (Ascia Maybury)
Ascia comes from a theatrical family and since her recent entrance to the performing arts she has appeared in performances at the Court Theatre (Christchurch), SiLo and Wellington Fringe Festival, as well as performing a cameo role in Shortland Street as Sticky’s girlfriend. Ascia brings beauty, poise and laughter to the heroine role in Steel Magnolias.
“Most women look for a swimsuit that will lift and separate, I look for one that will divide and conquer”- Truvy, beauty salon owner (Jacque Drew)
From 1987 until 2003 Jacque worked extensively in theatre, film and television in the USA. On moving to NZ she was awarded the prestigious Chapman Tripp Theatre Award for Outstanding Female Performance of the Year (Wellington). She has recently performed in The Women at the SiLo Theatre.
“I swear to you my personal tragedy will not interfere with my ability to do good hair” – Annelle, apprentice hairdresser (Abigail Greenwood)
Abigail has been consistently working in Auckland theatre since graduating from UNITEC Performing Arts School in 2003. She has shown great diversity in her roles, with excellent reviews for her debut performance at the SiLo Theatre, and with much praise for her delightful, acrobatic and humorous lead in The Owl and the Pussy-Cat.
“I’m not crazy. I’ve just been in a very bad mood for forty years” – Ouiser, the wealthy eccentric (Joy Watson)
Joy has been working extensively in theatre, film and television for the past 50 years in England, Australia and New Zealand. Joy is a brilliant comedic performer who brings great wit to the role of the acerbic Ouiser.
“The only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorise.” – Clairee, grande dame (Irene Boorman)
Irene has been working in theatre and dance for the past 50 years. In that time she has achieved three Best Actress Awards from the NZ Theatre Federation. She brings much grace and graciousness to the role of Claree.

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