Reviewed on 31st May 2017
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is a show that asks a lot of questions which are all important to understand and appreciate the production that is different to anything I have seen in theatre therefore to review this show I am asking and answering a question of my own. What the feck is it?
In the beginning Our Ladies gives very little for a critic to look at except something extremely crap, Lift Thine Eyes with some nice harmony work, bitch, Enchanting Song, Bitch, break out Mr Blue Sky with musicians blasting out four chords that can play almost every pop song ever, BITCH! The production at this point needs to answer some important questions.
Is Our Ladies a crap play?
Is Our Ladies a questionable musical?
Is Our Ladies a concert?
Is Our Ladies nothing more than four chord piece of piss pop songs with bitching in the middle?
The production very wisely answers these questions by giving the first glance that something deeper goes on inside the ladies’ lives and in doing so reveals the perfect exposition that gives the production the mask it creates. This mask is one all teenage girls wear and by giving the production this it is a true gift, the mask of the production allows all members of the audience to focus in on girls who will chat **** or laugh and have nothing else in the world to care about. The truth which is revealed as the production progresses couldn’t be further from the truth, Our Ladies deal with real tough **** that is hidden deep down under the cover of girls who simply don’t care and is one of the most realistic portrayals I have ever seen to that of real young ladies and with this mask and the hidden depths beneath is the true key to what allows Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour to achieve greatness.
For this greatness to be achieved a lot of elements must work with great impact within Our Ladies and one of the most elements is the cast, the cast of Our Ladies are asked a lot of from each other as they are the only members of the company aside from the musicians meaning there is little to distract the audience from focusing in on the ladies. This hard task is taken on by Caroline Deyga (Chell), Karen Fishwick (Kay), Isis Hainsworth (Orla), Kirsty Maclaren (Manda), Frances Mayli Mccann (Kylah) and Dawn Sievewright (Fionnula) playing the six ladies in the production that are utterly sublime in their roles. The journey these ladies go on is a remarkable one traveling as part of a Catholic schoolgirls choir on a competition with the ladies’ true goal of going out on the lash. Through this journey the mask each of the ladies have becomes more and more exposed displaying the real **** that each go through from pregnancy to abortions or cancer to families that are too impossible to explain, these situations are heart breaking for an audience to see thanks mainly to the fourth wall breaking moments that often are where there is no mask and all that comes out is poured straight from the heart that are beautiful to watch. These moments are truly powerful inside this production and are made more so by the emotional wrenching questions that the production contemplate on and answers to the best of it’s ability.
What does school really teach us?
What does life teach us?
What can love teach us?
These questions are haunting to take on inside Our Ladies yet through a balance of mind blowing acting and music Our Ladies accomplish it and deliver theatrical moments that can stand tall compared to any other production.
Overall the truly outstanding cast are one element that allows Our Ladies to thrive with the complex layers the production reveals with the music equally as effective in delivering outstanding memorable moments within the second half of the production with music such as Agnus Dei, Many Rivers To Cross and the most shell shockingly beautiful of them all Bach’s Cello Suite No.1. Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is an outstanding show and one I can find little fault in that allows audiences to take as much or as little away as they want from leaving them laughing, crying or heartbroken. Going away from Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour I took away a beautiful production that deserves to be seen, I can’t promise you will take away as much as I did but if you try one show outside of your normal theatre experience then make it this one. Our Ladies is deserving of that honor.
Star Rating: 5/5
Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is running at the Duke of York’s theatre until 2nd September 2017