There’s pure gold on the stage of the Abbey Theatre this week where the Company of Ten are putting on Steel Magnolias. 

Known to most for the film starring Dolly Parton, Sally Field and Julia Roberts, the cast of Steel Magnolias, St Albans style, totally make the roles their own. 

And they richly deserved the rousing applause they received at the final curtain call. 

Written by Robert Harling, Steel Magnolias is set in Truvy’s hairdressing salon in the 1980s – and what a brilliant set the Company of Ten’s team has come up with. 

Painted pink, for reasons that soon become apparent, it is kitted out just like a hair salon from the sink to the drier and the working tap which one of the cast falls victim to.  

Director Jenny Kilcast could not have asked for more from her cast, the backstage crew or the wardrobe team led by Jenny Whitlock. 

The six women who make up the cast are all dressed distinctly which is as much of a guide to their personalities as their lines. 

Victoria Lenza as Truvy wears bold and colourful clothing and is, indeed, reminiscent of Dolly Parton who played the role in the film. 

She is the centre of the circle who frequent the salon and is very good in the role. 

Just as impressive are Suzanne Brower as Clairee, Yvonne Grundy as bride-to-be Shelby and Beccy Baird as her mother M’Lynn. 

Tina Swain as the grumpy Ouiser is exceptional, not just because she undoubtedly has the best comedic lines but also because of the bossy and bustling way she portrays the character. 

And special mention has to go to Sarah Hudson as Annelle whose character goes from shy new hairdresser at Truvy’s salon, determined to please at every turn, to a confident bible-basher who is an integral part of the sisterhood. She gives a very assured and believable performance. 

Director Jenny points out in her programme notes that strong relationships had developed among the cast. 


That is apparent onstage where you really feel that the cast are totally involved in each other’s lives and loves. 

And congratulations to all of them for keeping up their southern belle accents throughout – not an easy thing to do. 

Steel Magnolias runs until Saturday with performances every night from Tuesday. Further details can be found at