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Faringdon Dramatic Society

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The Faringdon Dramatic Society web site is at www.faringdondramatic.org.uk. Facebook.

Last production

Where

Buscot Theatre, Buscot House, Faringdon, SN7 8BU.

Box office

Tickets available online or from 'The Gifted Magpie', 6 London Street, Faringdon.

Review of Steel Magnolias

12th to 14th June 2014.

Review from Mike Lacey.

The play takes place in Truvy’s beauty parlour (originally a car port, we are told), in 1980s Louisiana. The set conveyed this very well, with its hairdressing chairs and basin, along with pictures of current hair styles (Farrah Fawcett-Majors et al). The rear elevation gave a nice contrast to the rest of the set. Surely it is usual to have a mirror in front of each hair-dressing station and I would have liked the actors to make use of this on the ’fourth wall’. This may well have helped Shelby (Yvonne Kelly) project her voice out to the audience more rather than have her face sideways on which spoilt an otherwise very good performance. There was little use of the hair washing basin so no hair washing was done and maybe with the use of a bucket and a small pump these could have been achieved.

This play has many funny and emotional moments which the cast in the main got over very well although I did think that M’lynn (Amanda Linstead) looked a little cheerful on her entrance after the death of her daughter. Throughout this performance the actors kept up their American accents well. The costumes were right for the period but Ouiser (Jo Webster) could have done with a hat, and been a little more eccentric.

Annelle’s (Laura Coleman) hairdressing skills were good, from putting rollers into M’lynn’s hair, to pulling strands of Clairee’s (Joan Lee) hair through a cap, ready for highlighting. This character was well portrayed.

Although there was a lot of good direction and nice interaction between characters the show needed more pace, with the actors picking up on their cues more quickly, this would have been archived but overall the play was funny and moving and a job well done.

MIKE LACEY

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