We'll Have Nun of It

Set in 1967, "We'll Have Nun of it" presents a captivating narrative centered around the lives of four girls navigating the corridors of a boarding convent school. Amidst the backdrop of societal shifts including LGBT protests, the advent of the pill, and racial tensions, the play offers a poignant exploration of identity and self-discovery.

The production, boasting a modest cast of five members, used minimalist staging to create an intimate, 'in concert' atmosphere. Each cast member doubles as a musician and vocalist, cleverly employing instruments to symbolise props.

Despite its 90-minute runtime, "We'll Have Nun of it" grapples with weighty themes with commendable sensitivity. However, the length of the show occasionally leaves certain plotlines underexplored. Nevertheless, the cast excels in fleshing out their characters, delivering nuanced performances that resonate with authenticity.

Noteworthy is Heather Gourdie Bernie's portrayal of the newcomer grappling with the complexities of being groomed, seamlessly blending moments of vulnerability with comedic flair. Likewise, Juliette Artigala Mary's depiction of the devoutly religious character, her journey marked by emotional shifts that elicit empathy from the audience.

The musical component, with music and lyrics by Finola Southgate, adds another layer of richness to the production, evoking echoes of Irish and church melodies. While the songs are undeniably beautiful, they occasionally sidestep narrative progression, positioning the production more as a play with music rather than a traditional musical.

"We'll Have Nun of it" is a testament to the power of small-scale theatre, effectively demonstrating how intimate spaces can foster compelling storytelling. While the brisk pace and unanswered questions offer a refreshing take, a deeper exploration of the narrative would have enhanced the overall impact of the production.

This show was reviewed on the 23rd February 2024 at The Other Palace, London where it runs until the 10th March 2024.  Tickets available here: We’ll Have Nun of It - The Other Palace Theatre

Review written by Valentine Gale-Sides

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Photo credit: Pamela Raith

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