Hankies at the ready for Steel Magnolias

Cheri Lunghi and Denise Welch in Steel Magnolias. Photo by Paul Coltas.
Cheri Lunghi and Denise Welch in Steel Magnolias. Photo by Paul Coltas.

GET your handkerchiefs at the ready as the heart-warming and bittersweet comedy Steel Magnolias comes to Milton Keynes Theatre from Monday, June 11.

The Robert Harling drama features an impressive cast of British actresses including Sadie Pickering as the beautiful and impulsive Shelby, Isla Blair as her strong willed mother, M’Lynn, Cheryl Campbell as sharp-tonged Ouiser, Cherie Lunghi as elegant wealthy widow Clairee, Denise Welch as beauty parlour owner Truvy, and Kacey Ainsworth as mousy new-comer Annelle.

Steel Magnolias tells the story of six very special friends over three years, as the ladies gather in Truvy’s beauty parlour, and bond together with mutual laughs, triumphs and tragedies. Sharing each other’s strength and loyalty, these remarkable women survive the cycles of life, birth and death to emerge stronger, closer and still laughing. Steel Magnolias is the funniest play ever to make you cry.

Harling wrote the play as a form of therapy following the death of his sister from diabetes. The 1989 smash-hit movie adaptation starred Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley Maclaine, Darryl Hannah, Olympia Dukakis, and Julia Roberts.

Kacey Ainsworth is most recognized for her role as Little Mo in EastEnders but other television credits include Rock & Chips, Midsomer Murders, Tracey Beaker Returns, Hotel Babylon and Where the Heart Is.

Screen and stage star Isla Blair’s credits include The History Boys, Stuff Happens, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum and Noises Off, Law & Order, Casualty and Midsomer Murders.

Cheryl Campbell has most recently been seen on television as Miriam Turner in Casualty while Cherie Lunghi visited MKT with Ian McKellen in The Syndicate. Her other screen credits include Lewis, The Old Guys and Casualty 1909 and stage appearances in As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, The Winter’s Tale, King Lear and Saratoga all for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Denise Welch is a regular presenter on ITV’s Loose Women and a former Corrie star.

Steel Magnolias runs from June 11 to 16. For tickets call 0844 871 7652 or visit www.atgtickets.com /miltonkeynes