One for the dolls and then one for the guys - Boxmoor Playhouse crew gear up for spring

A list stars took Steel Magnolias to the big screen
A list stars took Steel Magnolias to the big screen

Hot on the heels of another successful seasonal panto, the team at Hemel Hempstead’s Boxmoor Playhouse are settling down for something more serious this spring.

And next week they’re beginning the process of casting for two shows – one with the guys in mind, and one for the dolls.

In March they’ll be staging Steel Magnolias, a play which is best known for an A-list big screen version starring the likes of Julia Roberts and Shirley MacLaine.

It’s well known as an ensemble piece with a largely female cast for actresses of all ages.

And that was a big factor in the choice of text, because the other big Hemel Hempstead Theatre Company production for the spring is Guys & Dolls, the evergreen musical based on the Broadway stories of Damon Runyon where the bulk of the roles are played by men.

Steel Magnolias, written by Robert Harling, has been on the company’s ‘to do’ list for some time, and now director Lynda Livsey Randall is taking on the challenge.

It will be staged in March and the process gets under way on Wednesday with a workshop/read-through session at 7.45pm, with full auditions to follow on Wednesday, January 15.

The company’s Karina Bygate said: “ This is a fantastic play and has six amazing roles for women. If you fancy acting in the shoes of the likes of Julia Roberts, Sally Field, Dolly Parton or Shirley MacLaine, all of whom starred in the 1989 film version, then this is definitely one for you.

“We purposely wanted to choose a play that had much to offer female actors to balance our choice of Guys and Dolls, which has plenty of good male roles but not too much to challenge our ladies. We think this is a perfect choice.”

To find out more, you can contact Karina via email at

Guys & Dolls centres on the unlikely love affair between a flashy gambler and a Salvation Army stalwart, and there are a wide variety of roles to be cast to challenge all ages and abilities.

The command to sit down and stop rocking the boat will boom out at the Playhouse in May, and anyone who wants to be involved can start at a read through and dance audition prep session on Tuesday evening at 7.45pm.

Dance auditions and music prep follows on Thursday evening, with music and dialogue auditions next Sunday, January 12.

For more details and audition pieces please contact