Nicole > Career > Stage > Steel Magnolias (1988)

In 1988 Nicole took to the stage for her first professional stage production, in the John Ewing-directed show Steel Magnolias. The play showed at the York Theatre at the Seymour Centre in Sydney.

Steel Magnolias is set in Miss Truvy's beauty Parlour in small-town Chinquapin, Louisiana, and tells the story of a close-knit group of women who share their lives with each other at the beauty parlour. Nicole's main co-stars were Nancy Hayes, Maggie Dence, Pat McDonald, Mellissa Jaffer and Genevieve Lemon.

Nicole plays the central role of Shelby Eatenton Latcherie, a young newly-married woman who has diabetes. Nicole said this about her character- "My character, Shelby, is a tough introduction to the rigours of live performance. She is onstage for the duration of the play and is, in effect, a headstrong girl who is accustomed to getting her own way. It is a demanding role that should well and truly tell me whether or not this is the right path for me to take."

Nicole was, as always, critical of her abilities in the production - "My dearest hope is for Steel Magnolias to be a smash hit, but I do wonder whether my performance will be up to the standards of those around me...". However, the Sydney Morning Herald thought she was good - "At the centre of the play are the bride of the first scene and her mother, the counsellor. These are played by Nicole Kidman, making an impressive professional stage debut after her success in films, and Nancy Hayes. The teaming of vigorous promise with the assurance and judgement of experience, does much to win our goodwill."

[1] Nicole was nominated for Best Newcomer at the Sydney Theatre Critics Circle Awards for this production
[2] Nic had less than 3 weeks to learn her lines for her role as Shelby in Steel Magnolias before the curtain went up on May 18th 1988.

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