On the 8th of July, the best blogging opportunity I’ve had to date occurred. We all know that I’m a big fan of the theatre and I was very fortunate to be invited to see Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour at the Duke of York’s theatre in London. After performing so brilliantly at the Edinburgh Fringe a couple of years ago and going on tour, the show was given a West End stint which is due to finish in just over six weeks, but I’ve been lucky enough to see it for myself and let you know exactly what I thought.
Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour was the winner of the 2017 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy so you can tell you’re starting off on a strong foot. This is based on a book called The Sopranos, and has been adapted by Lee Hall (probably best known for his adaptation of Billy Elliot which we all know went on to win Olivier and Tony Awards on both sides of the Atlantic) for the stage. 6 school girls from a Catholic school in Oban spend the day in Edinburgh ready for a choir competition that none of them particularly want to perform in. Instead of rehearsing or taking in the sights, they get drunk. In the case of Kay (Karen Fishwick), very drunk. This show is all about these girls discovering who they are, which we’ve all been through and in one way or another it’ll hit very close to home to every audience member.
Not a musical, but a play with music, this show highlights the insecurities of teenage girls. The hardships they face haven’t been diluted by the songs, but had a bright light shone on them. Dealing with teen pregnancy, sexuality, broken homes and illness, it’s not a light watch, but it’s a poignant one. Of course there are comedy moments, but they do not over shine the reality of the story.
I actually don’t want to write too much about this show in my review, and that’s because I got to head backstage after the performance to meet the cast. I’ve interviewed them and their answers tell you the real reason everyone needs to see this show and that post will be going up over the weekend. However, I will say that at the time whilst I really enjoyed it, I thought to myself ‘no, it’s not the sort of show I’d pay to see. I’m glad I’ve seen it but once is enough’. But at the time of writing this post a few days later, having time to reflect has made me realise that this is a very special show.
How often is that a production where there is an hour and 45 minutes solid of pure female empowerment? No interval, nobody leaves the stage. The six member ensemble plays every role in a skirt, whether it is a male or female character and it sounds simple, but it works. This is the show that the London theatre district has been waiting for, and when my interview with the cast goes live you’ll understand why.
Well done ladies, you’ve rocked the West End stage and it’ll be disappointing to walk past the Duke of York’s and not see your stained glass faces on the front of the building. Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is running until the 2nd of September, so don’t miss your chance to see it.