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Steel Magnolias: A comedic love letter to female solidarity comes to the Lowry

Set in the fictional town of Chinquapin, Louisiana. Truvy's Beauty salon's walls are filled with the trials and tribulations of six sassy women: husbands, hairdos and hairless dogs.

The writer of the 1987 play, Robert Harling based the fiery female cast on people he grew up with in Natchitoches, Louisiana. "All the women I knew were really funny and sharp. They all loved one-liners and they all talked in bumper stickers". He mostly wanted to tell the story of his sister Susan, who suffered from type one diabetes which largely affects children and young people.

His play was quite the hit and became a much-loved film just two years later starring huge names such as Dolly Parton, Sally Field and Julia Roberts. With huge, award-winning boots to fill, the cast was definitely the perfect fit.

With recognisable names such as Laura Main (Call the Midwife), Lucy Speed (Eastenders) and Harriet Thorpe (Absolutely Fabulous) the chemistry of this cast on stage is a pleasure to watch. The all-female cast combines sarcasm, empathy and friendship in this small-town southern community. A wonderful mix of personalities, life stories and jokes leaves you clutching your stomach with laughter.

The set, although changing decor for the holidays, remains the same throughout, with a new life story walking through the door with each character. A bride, a boss, a mother and a newbie are brought together by illegitimate marriages, weddings and illness. Each character has an attribute that makes you want to laugh, cry or give your best friend a hug.

The most important but seemingly insignificant element of the play is simply a pink radio, sitting somewhat silently in the corner of the shop but playing the most vital role in the story.

Why that is that you find out... eventually.

This the perfect production to come and see with the important women in your life may that be your mum, sister, grandma or friend. Whether you're left crying with laughter... or just crying this play really is a must-see!


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