By Rita Carpenter

The Lane End Players chose this very interesting play by Robert Harling for their latest production. Set in Louisiana the action takes place in a hairdressing salon and follows the lives of the ladies who meet on Saturdays to gossip and have beauty treatments.

Masterfully directed by Bob Connor with excellent Southern accents, the play was both funny and also incredibly moving. 

I was impressed with the accents and the way they were maintained throughout, and remembered their brilliant production of Under Milkwood which had an enormous cast and each member displayed a Welsh accent with ease.

With a very strong cast, Bob Connor was able to bring the comedy to the fore but also allow the cast to demonstrate their ability to tackle the sadness of the unexpected death of the youngest member, impressively played by Holly Thomas as Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie.

Shelby’s mother M’Lynn was sensitively played by Alison Hartnett who handled her grief well and showed her strength in adversity.

Kate Tysoe as Truvy the owner of the Salon with her outrageous hairstyles was well cast and Sophie Marshall as Annelle was delightful as the unsophisticated assistant often inadvertently saying the wrong thing which added to the humour of the piece.

Ouiser Boudreaux the local curmudgeon was played by Pia Obank (I’m not crazy I have just been in a bad mood for 40 years) was very amusing hiding a heart of gold and lastly but by no means least was Catherine Everitt playing Clairee.

The set was, as always amazing even the hairdressing washbasins with running water. Sound and Lighting were excellent. Once again this group have proved their versatility and offered a production of a very high standard.