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Steel Magnolias - Lane Cove Theatre Company

Lochie Beh is the president of the Lane Cove Theatre Company (LCTC). 2066 caught up with Lochie and quizzed him on their new production, Steel Magnolias.

Can you provide us with a brief introduction to who you are and your background?

Thanks for asking, I’ve been in theatre for as long as I could walk! Performing in some way or another. With Lane Cove Theatre Company, I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the most outstanding talent and personalities in the industry.

Tell us a little about the Lane Cove Theatre Company?

LCTC has been in existence for 26 years. In that time we have had world premiere productions, new original works staged, classics and cult productions. We have welcomed seasoned performers as well as beginners. We encourage all aspects of theatre to be involved, from stage to tech, bands to front-of-house, costumes to set design.

Can you provide a brief introduction to Steel Magnolias and how it came about showcasing at the Lane Cove Theatre?

A beautiful, bittersweet comedy set in America’s deep south, Steel Magnolias chronicles the lives and friendships of six women in Chinquapin, Louisiana. Supporting each other through triumphs and tragedies, they congregate at Truvy’s Beauty Spot, to ponder the mysteries of life and death, husbands and children.

Despite their differences, beautiful and impulsive Shelby, her strong-willed mother M’Lynn, beauty parlour owner Truvy, elegant widow Clairee, sharp-tongued Ouiser and mousy newcomer Annelle enjoy a friendship that spans the boundaries of age and status. Sharing each other’s strength and loyalty, these six remarkable women survive the cycles of life, birth and death to emerge stronger, closer and still laughing!

Trent Gardiner (director) has always had a connection to this play, and we felt it would be a great addition to our 25th season in 2020.

Steel Magnolias was originally scheduled to show in 2020 what happened, and how did this make you and the cast feel?

Three weeks into rehearsals in 2020 we had to cancel due to the global [Covid-19] pandemic. We were determined this production would go ahead, so we included it in our 2021 season. The cast and crew were devastated to have to cancel but felt it was the right decision, based on the current situation in March 2020. We were hopeful that it would go ahead as all the cast felt it deserved to be on stage. With the support of LCTC that will now be a reality.

Were any changes necessary for the delayed Steel Magnolias production?

One cast member had to be replaced due to scheduling conflicts, however we are now well into rehearsals, and it is going great. The Cast are working on their southern dialects, and busy work shopping hairstyles. Rehearsals are full of emotional roller coasters, lots of pink and a whole lot of fun.

Are there any up-and-coming stars in this production/theatre company we should be looking out for?

There is always new talent coming through the doors of LCTC. The previous production showcased just the amount of talent that is coming into Lane Cove. In Steel Magnolias we have 6 incredibly talented ladies that will take you on a journey of laughter through tears and a whole lot of emotion.

What's the best thing you love about Lane Cove?

It’s a vibrant, eclectic community that embraces the performing arts. A lovely village atmosphere surrounded by beautiful nature.

What do you recommend for budding actors or actresses keen to get on stage that they do to kick-start their career in theatre?

The best advice we can offer is that age doesn’t matter. You are never too young or old to get involved. Do your research into what you would like to do and what you love.

Also production work: on-stage, technical, costumes, front-of-house, directing, stage management.... the list is endless. This year LCTC is offering Masterclasses with renowned masters of their craft.

What is on the horizon for you and are there any new productions in the pipeline?

A Streetcar Named Desire is headed for the stage in August, and in November we will have our children’s production - Hercules. In September we will also stage our 10x10 minute short plays - In a Nutshell.

Stay tuned to our website or Facebook for further details.


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