It’s been 36 years since Robert Harling’s  STEEL MAGNOLIAS play was first performed and 33 years since the film STEEL MAGNOLIAS, starring Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton and Julia Roberts,  dominated the cinemas. Yet,  the time and setting of STEEL MAGNOLIAS seem here and now and forever – the definition of a classic. The setting is a Louisiana women’s hair salon.  The time and place could be anytime and anyplace where women gather to seeking beauty, friendship and solace.

Genesian’s  theatre director Ali Bendall has brought together a wonderful cast. Georgia Britt shines in the play’s most demanding role, playing M’Lynn, the mother of Shelby. Her performance is powerful, at times bringing tears to the audience. Heather Tleige plays Shelby, the daughter who desires to have a child of her own despite the health risks to her frail body. Genesian veteran Sandra Bass plays the cranky but loveable Ouiser with delightful aplomb.  Molly Haddon is an outstanding Truvy, the gracious and generous owner of the hair salon. Genesian newcomers are Julia Grace as Annelle, the young assistant who turns to religion for solace, and Sharron Olivier as Clairee, the wealthy owner of the local radio station who delightfully keeps the comic elements of the play flowing along.

Every detail in this production makes the whole meld together neatly, from the 1980s pop sound track designed by Mehran Mortezaei, the colourful costumes by Genesian’s long-time costume designer Susan Carveth and the detailed set by Ali Bendall and Tom Fahy – everything from the colour of the hairdressing tools to the period-appropriate hairspray brands were carefully researched and presented.

Despite the 1980s Louisiana setting, the play relates to contemporary audiences because of the richness and authenticity of the characters as the skilled Genesian actors bring to life a universal story.

Steel Magnolias is playing from 18th November to 16th December 2023. For tickets, visit: