THEATRE REVIEW: Steel Magnolias, Alexandra Theatre (Birmingham), 22/05/2012

With an all-star line up of familiar favourites of Denise Welsh, Kacey Ainsworth, Isla Blair, Cheryl Campbell, Cherie Lunghi and Sadie Pickering – “Steel Magnolias” is a laugh out loud, heart warming story of six friends bonded together by a special friendship based on the mutual respect for each others peculiarities and the support they offer for each other in buckets loads when times get difficult.

Telling the story of a recent beauty school graduate, hired by Truvy Jones to work in her beauty salon. Where the friends discuss the wedding of Shelby (the youngest friend), as the story progresses it jumps from season to season with such ease and fluidity that the subtlest stage changes highlight the delicateness of the Magnolias just like the gentle kindness the friends show to each other.

Shelby (a diabetic) requires a kidney transplant, her Mother donates hers but Shelby’s body rejects the kidney and she collapses into a coma. The doctors inform the family that Shelby will likely remain comatose indefinitely, and her family and husband jointly decide to remove Shelby from life support. Selby’s Mother breaks down but is supported by her four friends with love and humor.

There are moments where I laughed out loud without realising as the jokes were hilarious and well-timed and then moments where I found myself tearful as I was made to feel like the seventh friend, sharing each of the characters hopes, fears and pains.

A definite must see!

Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Eleni Kypridemos

Steel Magnolias plays at the Alexander Theatre Birmingham until Monday 28th May 2012.

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