Menu

NUNS PRODUCTIONS 2
DUTCH DAME PRODUCTIONS





Sisters with bad habbits

Bongs, chain smoking, liquor, sex tapes, blackmail and a desire to change the the system. No, it's not a college, it's a convent!

Three corrupt nuns use blackmail and foul play in an effort to change the patriarchy to which they have devoted their lives. With the use of an illicit sex tape starring none other than Mother Superior herself, the kinked chain of events begins to unfold.

Who we are

Passionate thespians bringing projects that we love to life.

NUNS covers themes of rebellion, patriarchy, defiance and sisterhood; subjects that are extremely relevant with the current climate that we are living with in terms of the Me Too movement, the discussion of equal pay for women and the rise of healthy feminism.


Credits & Cast

Director: Charlotte Marie Everest

Producer: Valerie Isaiah Sadoh

Executive Producers: Cecile Sinclair & Natalya Wolter-Ferguson

Cast

Sister Catherine: Natalya Wolter-Ferguson

Sister Bernadette: Cecile Sinclair

Sister Rozza: Rebecca Wilson

Mother Superior: Gillian Broderick


https://dutchdameproduction.com/


REVIEWS



https://theatreweekly.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/New-3star.jpg

Robert Luxford’s Nuns takes a less than ecclesiastical look at life inside the convent, or rather an alternative view of the daily lives of three Sisters and their Mother Superior, because for the sake of the Church we have to believe this is pure fiction. A satirical comedy in fact, presented by She’s Diverse and Dutch Dame productions, and directed by Charlotte Everest, which the all-female creative team have called a passion project.

The premise is that things have loosened up a bit for nuns, having been awarded more freedoms, a blind eye is turned to things like alcohol and sex, as long as everyone is discreet about it. Smoking, however remains taboo given the political links between Church, State and global corporations. But there’s a revolution on the horizon, led by Sister Catherine (Natalya Wolter-Ferguson) and Sister Rozza (Rebecca Wilson) who have discovered the power of leverage. The existence of a sex tape featuring Mother Superior (Gillian Broderick) initially gives them the upper hand in what becomes a complex power struggle.

The deviant sisters entangle Sister Bernadette, or ‘Bambi’ in to their increasingly outlandish plots, and it’s Cecile Sinclair in this role who grabs the audiences’ attention with excellent comic timing. There’s some interesting commentary on the politics of religion, and the misogyny of the Church, but the comedy plays on the obvious laughs that can be garnered when a nun in full habit lights up a cigarette, flashes a bit of skin or talks about sex.

But while you could overlook the predictability of the gags, there are some problems with the staging, and the pacing in particular. In a scene, which should have been one of the funniest, the nuns are having an alcohol and drug fuelled party, the story of the night is told in a series of flash frames, except each one lingers on far too long making it look a bit awkward. And it’s an issue throughout, particularly between scenes where the characters depart and re-enter whether they need to or not.

Tara Usher’s set design looks nice, the idea that holy life is a little more relaxed is brought to life in the furnishings of the convent dormitory while neon lights highlight specific areas. There’s an over reliance on music to supplement the comedy, blasts of ‘The Sound of Music’ and Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ kind of make sense, but start and end abruptly, jarring with the more slowly paced production.

It is evident that the creative team have worked hard to bring this production to life, and the fact that they have self-funded demonstrates a sense of determination that definitely comes across to the audience. This production of Nuns has a great deal of potential lurking just below the surface, but you wouldn’t need to visit the confessional to admit that it still needs a bit of work before it can be considered sacrosanct.

Summary

Reviewer Greg Stewart Review Date 2019-01-17Reviewed Item Nuns at Tristan Bates Theatre .

Nuns

Tristan Bates Theatre

Reviewed – 17th January 2019

***

"this play, written for a stonking all-female cast, perhaps needed a bit more darkness, a bit more bite”

This all-female cast and crew production is fun, dynamic and crowd-pleasing. A strong cast of four, directed by Charlotte Everest, brought Robert Luxford’s sometimes witty, energetic script to life, making some bold and engaging staging and performance choices. But a truncated flow in stage action and occasionally restrictive episodic structure mean it sacrifices humorous depth for giggling shallows.

Natalya Wolter-Ferguson, Cecile Sinclair and Rebecca Wilson are a terrific trio: perfectly balanced, wonderfully varied and each with their own outrageous showcase moment, they were a joy to watch. I found their commitment and passion exciting, and their clear support of one another inspiring. All embraced the challenges which their parts required, and the result was three female performers being free, uninhibited and brave onstage. Gillian Broderick joins the action later, but her reputation precedes her as the infamous Mother Superior, who turns out not to be so superior after all. Broderick adds a new flavour to the plot, and she played the inscrutable, but ultimately liberally persuadable, nun with growing conviction and nuance as the play progressed. The cast enjoyed themselves, which was reflected back at them in the auditorium.

Luxford’s script has clear intentions, which you can read immediately in the show’s aesthetic, and the performers’ characterisation: camp, mellow shock, sex and silliness – all habit-forming stuff. But each scene is so contained that the narrative never quite moved beyond stereotype. I was particularly frustrated by Mother Superior’s rousing speech about the church’s misogyny, in which the first example she used was that make-up is perceived as problematic. This dissection never quite unravelled and complexified to such an extent that the little shocks of the show amounted to the feeling of anything beyond being tickled. Being tickled is fine, but this play, written for a stonking all-female cast, perhaps needed a bit more darkness, a bit more bite.

Tara Usher’s set design is excellent. It perfectly frames, frills and sasses up the Tristan Bates space, with a gloriously kitsch combo of electric neon, which accents model angel wings and a garish central cross, and baby pink and blue velvet bedsheets, adorned with simpering Christs. It creates the perfect realm for playful debauchery, and Everest’s direction comes to its own when she incorporates the bed as the centrepiece of the Sisters’ lusty confusion. Sally McCulloch’s lighting design, using torches and creating different moods and textures with isolated neon lights, is inventive and thoughtful. However, much as I thought the sound choices were second to nun (not a typo; what a playlist), a couple of the tracks could have been cut, to let the dialogue and performances speak. Recorded voices illuminating context and offering different perspectives on nuns within the church were a nice touch, but used a little too frequently: pairing them with blackouts at points furthered the script’s feeling of incompleteness.

Nuns was met with a warm audience reception. The production team have made a production which is worth seeing, for its creative vivacity and committed performances.

Reviewed by Eloïse Poulton

Review: Nuns, Tristan Bates Theatre

3.0

Overall Score

With the promise of delinquency, sin and smoking, I was anticipating a hot and dangerous exploration of religious rebellion as I sat down to watch Nuns. If the all-female production (both cast and crew) isn’t enough to get you excited, then perhaps the declaration of their "desire to change the system” will intrigue you – it certainly did me. We are given insight into the current state of the Church through a satirical comedy where the relaxed lives of nuns are explored through sex, drugs and alcohol. However, smoking is still prohibited due to the surprisingly well explained entangled relationship between Church and State. While Nuns does deliver a show of exaggerated insurgence within the Church, its lack of comedic timing alongside a slightly stumbling plot leaves me wondering whether the discussion of nunnery is best left to horror.

The performance stands out in terms of sight and sound. Between each scene a phonograph audio clip is played on to darkness, recalling old instances of nun rebellion, a typical day for the Church and other comical recollections. It broadcasts an eerily historical presence. This old-fashioned approach is in direct contrast to the neon crosses and confessional booths, which not only install a sense of irony, but warp any expectation of time. The light, including a funny, if not slightly too long cut scene of character freeze frames, brings the play into the 21st Century, finding an unlikely harmony between the senses. Sally McColloch, in charge of sight and sound, takes this performance home.

On stage the cast create an uneasy ensemble. Although obviously comfortable with each other and holding real love for this ambitious passion project, their inability to make comedic references repeatedly land leaves me feeling disappointed. The play’s evident potential for mastery isn’t quite delivered, though that’s not to say that I wasn’t amused.

Nuns smoking bongs, cigarettes and discussing their various sexcapades with numerous vicars delights the audience and is a refreshing diversion from traditional religious discussion. There is no real blasphemy to be found here, the performance is far too silly to provoke any serious thought upon the current state of the Church. Indeed, even Mother Superior, played by the subtly unserious Gillian Broderick, turns into a panda and unapologetically dances around. It is easy to see the appeal Nuns holds. Delinquency in the Church alongside an explicit discussion of sex (including a comedic obsession with half dressed women in crochet) are a match made in hell. Nuns does manage to hit some sweet spots; Sister Bernadette played by the innocent Cecile Sinclair really comes into her own as the play progresses.

However, the power struggle between Mother Superior and the nuns becomes lost. It leaves behind any ambition to change the system and instead becomes swept up in a need to find an ending. There is more work to be done in order to achieve any real feeling of devilish satisfaction.

NUNS: Blackmail and Blasphemy

January 20, 2019

|

Tijana Tamburic

*****

A 5-star Review

I wouldn't have previously associated a convent with comedy, or nuns with lap dances or the prayer pews with The Streets and Notorious B.I.G. songs, but now I do. All thanks to the play NUNS.

They play, written by Robert Luxford and adapted by the all-female crew of Dame Dutch Productions and She's Diverse and entirely self-funded, is a hilarious and totally modern story that runs back and forth, with the agility and speed of a relay race, between the blackmail attempts of four nuns.

Between scenes there are various recordings of what sounds like news updates through the decades and 'how to be a good nun' advice that either informs or juxtaposes the scene at hand. It's not all laughs though, there are moments when the nuns discuss the position of the Church in today's socio-political landscape, along with its hypocrisies and dirty secrets (which are fine so long as 'no one finds out') that acts as a mirror for the rest of our society. If in this place, which is supposed to go by the rules of what is just, what is true, what is holy, sin proliferates, what does it say for the rest of society?

There is one voice recording that stands out for me; it speaks about the rise of 'feminism' in the Church. It makes us wonder if these women will break free, with their new information, and expose the Church for what it really is. There are several moments where we think this might happen but, alas, it doesn't. Which makes me wonder: is feminism still at the stage of bickering women, trying to one-up each other? Speaking confidently of change without any real progress. Being liberated with their bodies, still somehow at the benefit of men. When will we shelve our personal problems and speak out to take down the patriarchy, and the clergy? And... when will other women and men support us in a united way?

Dr Christine Blasey Ford went forth last year to speak up for who should and shouldn't sit in the seat of Supreme Court Justice, but the amount of women who took her down and attacked her is shocking. The amount of women supporting her who were attacked on social media, is shocking. I wonder if the nuns had come forward with their tapes, how much change it would have really made in our current climate? Would it be swept under the rug, or released and then be old news in two days, or even 'fake news', or would it spur a real, united feminist push for change?

A lot of doors are opened up by this seemingly light-hearted comedy, but not wide open - just ajar like the door to a confessional that you have to decide whether or not to enter...

The play is on for another week at the Tristan Bates Theatres in Covent Garden.

Get your tickets here

The play features FN girl Cecile Sinclair

LIVE LONDON POST **** Four stars

review by Andreea Helen David.

Nuns is a fantastic satirical comedy that pokes fun at the religious system.

The play, based on a book by Robert Luxford (the only man involved in the show) is set in a convent and presents us with 4 nuns, all devout catholics of course, that sometimes smoke weed and have sex .

We have Sister Bernedette (Cecile Sinclair) the innocent and easily played Bambi as Sister Catherine (Natalya Wolter Ferguson) calls her, that gets mixed up in a rather unpleasant business with the Sisters Cathrine and Rozza, the terrible duo.

The rebellious Sisters, Catherine and Rozza are trying to blackmail Mother Superior (Gillian Broderick) in order to be allowed to smoke, with a secret of a not very a cumenical activity. Because Bambi is involved, things get tangled revealing a need for change of the patriarchal rules and female equality in convents and churches and everywhere else.

Herein lies the beauty and brain of this show. The play entertains and opens up the door to a world less known to us but it proves change is mandatory for everyone. A feminist call that should lead to equality in sexes and roles. What a prfect way to start 2019 for Dutch Dame Productions!

An all female cast and production team this fun, spunky show is so smart and creative. Charlotte Everest‘s direction is physical and sexy allowing the actors to be free and improvise. Claire Sinclair is sublime as Sister Bernadette. Natalya Wolter Ferguson gives her character very different and very surprising layers and Rebecca Wilson as Sister Rozza gives this show amazing infusions of silliness and energy. Gillian Broderick is scary as Mother Superior but as she reveals herself and her herbal infusions you like her more and more until someone dies.

The audience enjoyed themselves tremendously as have I.

Where: Tristan Bates theatre

When: until 26th of January

Time: 7:30pm


Link
http://mytheatremates.com/nuns_qacoverage_terri/