The group have been working closely together over the past 3 months along with their Director Jacqui Rhodes, to try and create the relationships required to portray these often complex characters.
The original film cast included Julia Roberts and Dolly Parton, the women are witty and intelligent and as the title suggests, can be both as delicate as the magnolia flower, and as tough as steel.
Director Jacqui is best known locally as one of the founders of breast cancer charity “Hug in a Bag” and this will be her directorial debut. Although she has acted with the Windmill Players many times, she has always wanted to direct this as it is one of her favourite films.
Playing the roles of daughter and mother, Shelby and Mary Lynne, are local funeral director Claire Hull, who has recently one a North West Regional Noda Award for Best Supporting Actress, and Sarah Jane Stone who is a local performing arts teacher and award winning actress and director.
Sarah Jane recently featured in the BBC documentary about the Royal Shakespeare Company’s tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The cast is completed with accomplished and talented actresses Karen Rogerson, Judi Adams, Denise Flynn.and Maureen McCrae.
This comedy drama is about the bond a group of women share in a small-town southern community, and how they cope with the death of one of their own. The story is based on Robert Harling‘s real life experience of the death of his sister, Susan Harling Robinson, in 1985 due to complications from Type 1 diabetes. He changed his sister’s name in the story from Susan to Shelby.
Original film cast member Shirley MacLaine said “To say it’s a women’s drama, I don’t think that’s correct. “If you’ve got women in your life bring them along and you’ll know much more about them when you go home.”
Director Jacqui would agree with that sentiment, “my cast is extremely strong, as they should be to play these iconic roles. This is a wonderfully funny yet moving drama which will not fail to enrich all those who witness it. A definite must see!”
The play is to be performed at Thornton Little Theatre from Tuesday 14 to Saturday 18 June at 7.30pm nightly. Tickets on 07746 906651.