Saturday, May 16, 2015


Greville Theatre Club at the Barn Theatre


Robert Harling's bitter-sweet comedy is set in a cosy Chinquapin beauty parlour – all the action, the tragedy and the farce, happens off-stage. The ladies of the neighbourhood use Truvy's as refuge and group therapy, while outside spring turns to winter.
Jonathan Scripps' feel-good production is set in a beautifully realised salon - “luxurious without being sleazy”: lilac paintwork, hood dryers and women's magazines.
Shelby – a spot-on characterization from Sonia Lindsey-Scripps, southern drawl and all – is being titivated for her pink-themed Princess Grace wedding. Her mother [Pam Hemming] fusses, huffs and interferes. Nervous newbie Annelle [warmly characterized by Saira Plane] clearly has a past to hide. Larger than life characters breeze in and out – Ouiser, in a bad mood for forty years, is grumpily played by Lynda Shelverton. Clairee, elegant, big shoulders, big hair, is wonderfully done by Madeline Harmer. Like Marcia Baldry-Bryan's feisty Truvy, she nails the sharp Southern wit and the crisp one-liners – I think it's to do with the eyes … Truvy has some of the best quips, including my favourite, “the nicest thing I can say about her is all her tattoos are spelled correctly”.
On opening night, there was some hesitancy and a few fluffed lines, but, though we weren't always convinced that we were in Louisiana, there was a palpable sense of community and camaraderie amongst these six ladies, well served by excellent ensemble playing. So that when the tear-jerker ending comes, with M'Lynn reliving her “most precious moment” at her daughter's bedside, the wave of shared sympathy embraces the audience, too. As Truvy says, “laughter through tears – my favourite emotion”.
The traditional Greville supper featured apple pie and a superb salmon salad – alas, no dago pie or Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa cake: never mind, here's the recipe, courtesy of

Cuppa Cuppa Cuppa Cake

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

1 cup flour, self-raising
1 cup sugar (I prefer vanilla sugar!)
1 cup fruit cocktail with the juice
ice cream, to cut the sweetness (optional, but encouraged)

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Mix all ingredients together until well-combined.
Bake in greased pan or skillet until gold and bubbly, about 40-45 minutes.

production photograph: Adrian Hoodless

1 comment:

Unknown said...

My favorite! Enjoy that cake ;)

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