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Nunsense - the mega-musical version

Date

6th May 2015

Society

Wetherby Musical Theatre Group

Venue

Linton Memorial Hall

Type of Production

Musical

Director

Stephen Morrell

Musical Director

Nick Eastwood

Choreographer

Enid Doyle/Elsie Johnston

Report

Author: Terry Harrison

With a number of productions of “Sister Act” around in addition to this production, theatre going could be said to be habit forming and rather conventional at present. If that sort of humour is not for you, then perhaps this show is not your style either but the jokes in this entertaining production did get better. Although it originated in America, where the action is set, there were times when we were reminded of our pantomime tradition as there were occasions when we were asked to participate in the fun.

This show was a complete contrast after last year’s production of “The Full Monty”, if for no other reason than it requires only one man (two if you count the pianist) and a lot more ladies, all of whom were able to remain fully clothed. Instead, what is revealed in this show are the aspirations of a number of the nuns when they tell us what they might have done with their lives had they not “taken the veil”.  This is achieved in various songs, all in different styles, as the sisters take part in a fund-raising concert to raise money for the convent, after the Reverend Mother had been guilty of rather mismanaging the funds.        

The Group had moved its performance to a Village Hall and, as this would also serve as a Polling Station, there could not be a performance on Election Day, which was a pity as the good people of Wetherby would have found this far more entertaining.   On the other hand, a small venue such as this is just what this show needs and they don’t come much smaller with space at such a premium that some of the cast had to line the sides of the auditorium when not required on stage.  What this show also needs is for the cast to shed their inhibitions and occupy their respective characters, not easy when the audience, which is bound to include a number of friends and relatives, is so close. There was no orchestra pit here to provide the usual barrier between the two worlds of illusion and reality.  Nevertheless, the company made their task look easy and we were successfully transported to their world in New Jersey. All of the principals played their parts well and we were readily able to empathise with their differing aspirations. Particularly worthy of mention is Enid Doyle not only as an amusing Reverend Mother but also responsible for choreography and wardrobe, which is, of course, all about habits again.

The Group is celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year and, after entertaining us so well once again, we all hope they continue for many more years. They were able to demonstrate that performing on stage is a rewarding and satisfying experience.  A very good habit, even!