By Dan Goggin. 1812 Theatre. Director: Trish Carr. 16th Nov – 9th Dec, 2018

For their final season of the year 1812 Theatre have included a musical into their repertoire.

Nunsense is a long running Off Broadway musical that is farcical in nature, but chaotic in content.

The plot revolves around five nuns from the convent of the Little Sisters of Hoboken. They have gathered their ‘talents’ in order to raise money to bury four of their colleagues who are being stored in the school cafeteria's freezer. 

The audience uncover that their unholy issues all began one night when 19 of the sisters went to play bingo. Upon their return, they found the other 52 nuns lying face-down at dinner in their bowls of vichyssoise. The cook, Sister Julia, had mistakenly served a double dose of botulism to the nuns.

After a greeting-card sale, there was only enough money to bury 48 of the sisters, which is why four bodies are in the freezer and a group of nuns are on the stage singing, dancing and contributing Roman Catholic comedy routines to the show.

There are two definite standouts in this show.

Hany Lee, already a seasoned professional performer and singer in multiple languages, steals the show completely with her antics as Sister Amnesia. Her song with Sister Mary Annette (a nun puppet) was expertly choreographed and Lee controlled her voice perfectly, singing in two different voices and keys. This would be unbelievably tricky, but Lee mastered it and made it look so easy. Her Country and Western number stole the hearts of the audience, especially with the sight-gag on her shoes at the start of the song.

Clare Morgan is sweet and innocent, and plays the role of Sister Leo perfectly. Her singing is divine and acting heavenly. Given that this is only her second show outside of high school, Morgan has a great talent that, once she has some more experience under her belt, will see her become a powerhouse all-round performer.

The cast is completed with Colleen Johnson (Reverend Mother), Judith Sivasubramaniam (Sister Hubert) and Hazel Green (Sister Robert Anne). These ladies are experienced singers and play their parts adeptly. They were perfectly cast within their roles.

The play takes a very long time to get going. The pace needs to be picked up dramatically throughout the show. There are some very funny moments and pun-worthy word play that hasn’t been captured because of the ad-libbing and taking way too long to get to the point. If the pace were much faster, these moments would add to the hilarity of the situation and chaotic nature of the farce.

Given that this was opening night, hopefully they can pick up the pace and forge ahead for the rest of the season. Things can only go up from here.

Penelope Thomas

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.