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CODA to return to CryerArts Centre with hilarious and touching play Steel Magnolias

The Croydon Operatic and Dramatic Association ("CODA") are proud to present their new production of Robert Harling's bittersweet comedy drama Steel Magnolias at the CryerArts Centre in Carshalton this April.

Anyone who is anyone in Chiquapin, Louisiana has a standing appointment at Truvy Jones’s beauty salon – from the curmudgeon to the prettiest girl in town – the only place to be for the gossip. But when the joy and excitement of a wedding turn to concern about the health of one of their number, the ladies must dig deep to find strength to meet life’s hurdles…

Bee Williams as Annelle, Zahra Jennings-Grant as Truvy, Rebecca Flood as Shelby, Tonia Porter as Ouiser, Sarah H Gordon as Clairee and Sarah Block as M’Lynn. Photo by Sasha Cherry.

By turns heart-warming, hilarious and heart-breaking, Steel Magnolias will leave audiences with a smile on their face and a tear in their eye.

The production is directed by David Sanders, and stars Zahra Jennings-Grant as Truvy, Bee Williams as Annelle, Sarah H Gordon as Clairee, Rebecca Flood as Shelby, Sarah Block as M’Lynn and Tonia Porter as Ouiser. Says director David Sanders, “This is a beautiful and simple piece of theatre. The way the characters interact with their witticisms, put-downs and good-natured barbs is a joy to behold. The stories are very common to all of us at some time in our lives.” CODA Chairman Michael Hall says, “The script is bursting with vivid characters who have such a wonderful turn of phrase, but the piece is so moving too. I know audiences will love the play.”

CODA was founded in 1943, and is Croydon's leading community theatre company, performing both musicals and plays to a highly professional standard.  Steel Magnolias comes after the Covid-delayed production of Little Women. In the years prior to the pandemic, CODA have performed highly acclaimed productions of Shakespeare in Wandle Park, musicals at the Stanley Halls in Norwood and Fairfield Halls, such as Into The Woods, West Side Story and The Producers, and family favourites such as The Railway Children and The Wind In The Willows at the CryerArts Centre in Carshalton.

Steel Magnolias runs from Wednesday 27th to Saturday 30th April  at the CryerArts Centre, High Street, Carshalton, with evening performances at 7:45pm, and a matinee on Saturday 30th April at 2:30pm. 

Tickets are £14 full price and £13 concessions (plus booking fee), and can be booked online at, or by telephone on 020 8669 2444.