Rose Theatre announces Robert Harling’s romantic comedy Steel Magnolias starring Kara Tointon (Shelby), directed by Anthony Banks. The production opens on 6 May, with previews from 1 May, and runs until 23 May.
“I would rather have thirty minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.”
In small-town Louisiana, Truvy’s beauty salon is a regular rendezvous for six extraordinary women who span the social circles of their local community. Bubbling with sharp, laugh-out-loud humour, the friends quip back and forth over life’s highs and lows until a tragic event leaves them and the whole town reeling.
The strength of female friendship comes alive through fast, funny dialogue and vibrant, endearing characters in this powerful and heart-warming comedy.
Robert Harling’s play is based on the true story of his mother and sister. It ran for over one thousand performances Off-Broadway and was adapted by Harling for the screen.
Writer Robert Harling, said, ‘I am thrilled that the Rose Theatre are putting on Steel Magnolias, it is based on a true story and I am always excited when actors bring their own truth to perform the play.’
Director, Anthony Banks, said, ‘I’m thrilled to be working with Robert Harling on this new production and to be reunited with Kara Tointon having had so much fun together on Gaslight. It’s still rare enough to have a stage dominated by one female character let alone have it exclusively populated by six for the whole evening. I’ve loved this play since I was a child. I grew up surrounded by women like this. I like the no-nonsense truths they tell behind closed doors and I can’t wait to bring this show to the Rose.’
Robert Harling is a playwright, screenwriter and director. His credits include The First Wives Club, The Evening Star, Laws of Attraction and Good Christian Bitches, and the forthcoming stage adaptation of Soapdish the Musical. Steel Magnolias is the true story of his mother and sister, portrayed by Sally Field and Julia Roberts in the hit motion picture.
Kara Tointon plays Shelby. Her previous theatre credits include Twelfth Night (RSC), The Man in the White Suit, Relatively Speaking (Wyndham’s Theatre), Absent Friends (Harold Pinter Theatre), Pygmalion (Garrick Theatre) and Gaslight (UK tour). Her television credits include Urban Myths, The Halcyon, The Sound of Music Live, Mr Selfridge, Lewis and Henry IX; and for film, Let’s Be Evil, The Last Passenger, The Sweeney and Warrior Queen.
Anthony Banks directs. His theatre credits include Cesario, More Light, The Eternal Not, Prince of Denmark (National Theatre), Pignight (Menier Chocolate Factory), My Cousin Rachel (Theatre Royal Bath), The Girl On The Train (Duke of York’s Theatre/UK tour), Twilight Song (Park Theatre), After Miss Julie (Theatre Royal Bath/UK tour), Raz (Trafalgar Studios/ Edinburgh Festival Fringe/UK tour), Herding Cats (Theatre Royal Bath/ Hampstead Theatre), Bassett (Bristol Old Vic), The Experiment (Soho Theatre), Games for Lovers (The Vaults), Dial M for Murder, Strangers on a Train, Gaslight, DNA (UK tours) and The Hotel Plays (The Langham, London). Banks was an associate director at the National Theatre 2004-2014 where he commissioned and developed a hundred new plays for NT Connections.
Steel Magnolias Listings
24-26 High Street, Kingston, KT1 1HL
1 May – 23 May 2020
Press performance: Wednesday 6 May at 7pm