Steel Magnolias opens TONIGHT at Ilminster's Warehouse Theatre

Chard & Ilminster News: Jo Neagle, playing Clairee Belcher, reflecting on life. PHOTO: IES. Jo Neagle, playing Clairee Belcher, reflecting on life. PHOTO: IES.

A BROADWAY comedy drama celebrating the steeliness of women opens at Ilminster’s Warehouse Theatre tonight (Wednesday) thanks to its resident dramatists.

Ilminster Entertainments Society presents Steel Magnolias, a funny play which tugs at the heartstrings as it follows a group of women in north-west Louisiana, who meet regularly in a beauty parlour.

Just as the title implies, these characters are delicate as magnolias, but have the underlying toughness of steel.

Along the course of the play, we discover the women’s strengths and weaknesses, and how hope shines through, despite dreams not always coming true.

And while you may have seen the film, the staged version, set in the confinements of a beauty parlour, is more forceful, thought-provoking and deeply moving…

Speaking on behalf of IES, Nicola Della Vale said: “There is a silent army of reliable volunteers with whose help this show has come together for opening night.

“The set, not depicted here, looks as though it is a fully-functioning hair salon, with back wash chairs and hood hair dryers.

“Indeed, a perfect glimpse inside the all female echelons of a beauty parlour, with a view on the town affairs, and that of the lives involved.”

Steel Magnolias is at 7.30pm nightly until Saturday July 12 inclusive. Tickets cost £8.50 for adults, £7.50 for seniors, and £7 for children and students, available from Lanes Garden Shop, or on 07943-779880.

NEXT UP at the Warehouse Theatre: ‘Letters Home’ by the Encore theatre group at 7pm on Saturday July 19 and 3pm Sunday July 20. Tickets cost £4.50 from the above outlets.

The event is being held to mark the centenary of the First World War.

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