It debuted off-Broadway some 30 years ago and since then Steel Magnolias has become a hit on stage and screen. Written by American writer Robert Harling, the play is based on his experience with his sister’s death and follows the bond between a group of women. A local production of the comedy-drama is coming to Cyprus this month, produced by Satiriko Theatre and featuring a cast of acclaimed Greek and Cypriot actresses.
On March 16, Steel Magnolias will be presented at Rialto Theatre welcoming on stage Despina Bebedeli, Annita Santorinaiou, Popi Avraam, Sofia Kalli, Myrsini Christodoulou and Pambina Georgiou. The play is a study on friendship outweighing loneliness and the human need for support and communication. Through this black comedy of twists and turns, Harling gives his female characters a fierce and witty dialogue, full of empathy and compassion.
The story is set at a beauty salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, at the end of the 80s and follows the lives and relationships of six women. Truvy Jones, the owner of the salon, which is also a refuge for women, hires young Annelle Dupuy-Desoto, trying to unlock her secrets. The first client then appears: it is Claire Belcher, the town mayor’s widow, who has just left the memorial ceremony dedicated to her deceased husband, wilfully giving her place to young Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie, a bride-to-be on this very day.
The day is dedicated to the beauty care of the future bride, but also that of her mother, M’lynn Eatenton. Amidst a cheerful atmosphere of anticipation and anxiety for the wedding, young Shelby suffers a diabetic attack; yet she must not jeopardise her health since she is pregnant. The delightful news upsets her mother who obsesses about the imminent risks. The setting builds up to a climax when flamboyant Boudreaux arrives.
Emilios Charalambides directs the Cyprus production in Greek while Dimitris Zachariou creates the play’s music compositions and soundscape. Steel Magnolias will be presented at Rialto Theatre for just one night, bringing heart-felt stories to life and a cast of respectable actresses.
By Satiriko Theatre. March 16. Rialto Theatre, Limassol. 8.30pm. €15. In Greek. www.rialto.com.cy