Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, National Theatre | Review

Friday, 19 August 2016

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour
National Theatre, Dorfman Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 18th August 2016 by Olivia Mitchell

If you love the feeling of leaving the theatre in a mass of smiling, contented, glowing audience members then this is 100% the show for you. Its an hour fifty minute show with hilarious dialogue and exuberant singing which combines music by Jeff Lynne, Handel and more, all of which contrast and take you on the journey of these girls. The show, an adaptation of Alan Warner's 1998 novel The Sopranos is an absolutely joyous time and a celebration of life and living.

I wouldn't say this is a play, but it also isn't a musical. Its kind of a gig like mix between the two that tells the story of six Catholic schoolgirls, all members of the choir Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. They leave their hometown to compete in a choir competition but are far more excited to "go mental" than to win. We follow the girls for 24 hours of craziness and more drama than you can imagine, but in the end its all about friendship, love and just being a teenager. 

Now I had a fairly tame secondary school experience but I'm sure no ones was really as crazy and wild as these six girls, but that doesn't matter. Although its somewhat of a fantasy of freedom and absurdness, this show really captures the ups and downs and the feeling of invincibility you embody when you have a group of friends you see everyday, who you feel safe with but you're all ready to escape and explore the wider world. Its truly a celebration of being 17.

The whole cast is absolutely brilliant, with perfect comedic timing as well as more emotional personal monologues. I really loved the use of

asides throughout to give the audience insight into what the girls were really thinking even if they didn't say so out loud. The singing was phenomenal and felt like a proper concert! I would definitely go and see the Ladies of Perpetual Succour in concert but perhaps they'd have to choose a new name? The whole performance is energetic and just feel-good throughout. Many problems of growing up are faced and although we don't get conclusions we get the message that that's just life. You deal with your problems as they come along. Everything will eventually be alright, and I suppose a little singing can't make them any worse! All the girls give extremely convincing performances and I hope this wonderful production receives all the love it deserves!

I immediately called my friend as I left the theatre to tell her how good it was and as I left I heard many audience members doing the same or talking to each other about how brilliant the show was. The standing ovation at the end was a testament to this stunning production.

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour runs at the Dorfman Theatre, National Theatre until October 1st. Tickets can be purchased here.