PLAY REVIEW: ‘The Sweet Delilah Swim Club’ celebrates lifelong bonds of women, friendship

The second show of the season at Drayton Entertainment’s St. Jacobs venue is a celebration of women and the choices they make.

The Sweet Delilah Swim Club tells the story of five members of a college swim team who get together at a cottage every year for a weekend in August to reminisce about old times and touch base about the changes that happened in their lives over the past year.

It is a four-act show, with the group aging by five or more years each time, starting in their 40s. The cast does a great job showing what aging looks like (or not) and how women deal with it in many ways. Although the five are at different stages in life and have made an assortment of choices that the others may not agree with, they have a bond that pulls them back to the “Sweet Delilah” cottage every year, no matter what.

The cast of five is superb. Marcia Tratt is Sheree, the captain of their swim squad and the hub of the group. Her no-nonsense efficiency keeps the group on track, as long as they can avoid her homemade health-conscious snacks. Barbara Fulton is Dinah, the career-driven lawyer who never regretted her decision to not have children; a good thing since she is more devoted to her martinis. Cara Hunter plays Lexie, who always appreciates the scenery wherever she goes, as long as there’s a good-looking man in her sights. How many husbands will she have by the end? Mary Pitt as Vernadette brings enough one-liners for the entire group; a lot of the biggest laughs (and there are many) are due to her sassy outlook on her not-so-great life. The cast is rounded out by Karen Wood as Jeri Neal, a devoted nun who shows up at the cottage with a big surprise to share. Her sunny optimism softens some of the others’ hard edges.

While watching the show, you might wonder, “Which one am I? Am I flaky, flirty, funny?” Most women probably embody a bit of each one.

The Sweet Delilah Swim Club not only has an all-woman cast, it also has an all-woman crew, and the delightful cottage set was built by women.

Of course, the director is also a woman, the renowned Sheila McCarthy. If the name is familiar, McCarthy also has an extensive acting resume, including Canadian staples like Emily of New Moon, Little Mosque on the Prairie, and naturally, The Littlest Hobo. She has also appeared in many movies, TV shows, and voices a number of animated characters.

The Sweet Delilah Swim Club has been compared to Steel Magnolias, a group of southern women with minds of their own who are there for each other in good times and bad.

The Sweet Delilah Swim Club has various afternoon and evening shows at the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse until Aug. 13. Call the box office at 519-747-7788 or toll-free at 1-855-drayton (372-9866) or online at

Marlene Ottens