Kacey Ainsworth (Annelle), Isla Blair (M’Lynn), Cheryl Campbell (Ouiser), Cherie Lunghi (Clairee), Sadie Pickering (Shelby) and Denise Welch (Truvy) comprise the cast for the National Tour of Steel Magnolias, written by Robert Harling and directed by David Gilmore. Steel Magnolias is being produced by David Ian Productions.
Robert Harling wrote the play Steel Magnolias 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.
A heart-warming and bittersweet comedy Steel Magnolias tells the story of six very special friends bonded together by mutual 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.
Steel Magnolias opens at the Theatre Royal Bath on 2 April 2012, before touring nationally to the New Theatre, Cardiff (9-14 April), Alhambra Theatre, Bradford (16-21 April), Theatre Royal, Nottingham (23-28 April), Theatre Royal, Brighton (30 April – 5 May), Grand Opera House, York (7 -12 May), Richmond Theatre, Richmond (14 -19 May), Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham (21 -26 May), Theatre Royal, Newcastle (28 May – 2 June), The Mayflower, Southampton (4 -9 June) and Milton Keynes Theatre, Milton Keynes (11 – 16 June).
Internationally acclaimed director and Olivier Award winner David Gilmore has directed more than a dozen West End productions including the original award-winning productions of Daisy Pulls It Off, Lend Me a Tenor, and The Hired Man. His production of Defending the Caveman at the Apollo theatre won an Olivier award for best entertainment and Gilmore’s production of Grease has been running almost continuously in the West End for 17 years. Other West-End Productions include All the Fun of the Fair, Beyond Reasonable Doubt, Chapter Two, Radio Times, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Annie Get Your Gun, A Swell Party, Out of the Blue, and Fatal Attraction. His frequent work in Australia includes Footloose and Happy Days at the Olympic Superdome in Sydney. His production of La Haut, a French comedy operetta which he directed for the theatre Des Celestins in Lyon played the Theatre de Varietes in Paris and has subsequently been filmed for French television. Other productions abroad include As You Like it for the Shakespeare Repertory Company in Chicago; David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross at the Royal Flemish theatre in Brussels, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Song and Dance in Australia, the American comedy Alone Together and Ben Elton’s Gasping which toured to Hong Kong and Peking. He is artistic director of the new St. James’ Theatre, opening in Westminster in late 2012.
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, Where the Heart is, A Touch of Frost and Peak Practice. Her stage credits include Calendar Girls – on tour, Sleep With Me and Mothers, Sons and Other Lovers for the National Theatre and Attempts On Her Life, Pale Horse, Once Not and Smacking Mint for the Royal Court Theatre.
Isla Blair’s theatre credits include The History Boys, Stuff Happens, A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum and Noises Off all for the National Theatre, Henry IV at the Wyndham’s Theatre and many seasons of work for the Bristol Old Vic Theatre. Blair’s television credits include Single Father, Law & Order, Casualty, Midsomer Murders, A Touch of Frost, The Final Cut, When the Boat Comes in and The History Man and her film credits include Afterlife, Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage Wars, The Monk, The Match, Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade and The Tennis Court.
Cheryl Campbell has most recently been seen on television as Miriam Turner in Casualty. Cheryl’s other screen credits include The Sarah Jane Adventures, Poirot, Appointment With Death, Lewis, Funland, William & Mary and Peep Show IV and the recent feature film directed by Stephen Frears, Tamara Drewe. Her stage credits include Noises Off at the Piccadilly Theatre and on tour, Life After George in Guildford and at the Duchess Theatre, Passion Play and The Seagull at the Donmar Warehouse and The Strip at the Royal Court Theatre.
Cherie Lunghi was a contestant in the 2008 series of Strictly Come Dancing, and went on tour with the show in 2009. Cherie’s other screen credits include Lewis, The Old Guys, Casualty 1909, Apparitions, The Verdict and the feature film No Ordinary Trifle. She is also recognised from her recurring role in the Kenco Coffee ads. Cherie’s stage credits include The Syndicate for Chichester Festival Theatre, Passion Play at the Donmar Warehouse, Teeth N’Smiles at the Royal Court Theatre and As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, The Winter’s Tale, King Lear and Saratoga all for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Sadie Pickering has most recently been on screen as Lottie in the BBC’s Popatron. Other regular television roles include Flick Mellor in Waterloo Road and Louise in Material Girl. Her film credits include Acts of Godfrey and Splintered.
Denise Welch is a regular presenter on ITV’s Loose Women and earlier this year competed on the channel’s popular series; Dancing On Ice. Denise’s other iconic television roles include Steph Haydock in Waterloo Road, Natalie Horrocks in Coronation Street and Marsha Stubbs in Soldier Soldier.