DUKE OF YORK'S THEATRE
OUR LADIES OF PERPETUAL SUCCOUR (play with music)
NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN OR THE EASILY OFFENDED. CONTAINS STRONG
LANGUAGE AND ADULT MATERIAL.
Ends 2nd September 2017.
Six teenage girls over a single day. Love, lust, pregnancy and growing
up. A National Theatre of Scotland and Live Theatre co-production of a
play by Lee Hall, based on the book "The Sopranos," by Alan Warner.
The successful tour comes to the West End, in a slightly revised
(seen at the Dorfman Theatre on 17th September 2016).
Based, apparently, on a 1998 novel, and not a trendy "improvisation" session -
though it certainly feels that way at times. The strength of this show are
simply the performances. A half dozen young female actors play everything from
schoolgirls to male perverts, sing everything from church choral to Bob Marley
and have an energetic delivery that is infectious enough to make the time mostly
The problem is the script. While jumping smoothly enough between stories while
running riot in Edinburgh, it falters at the point where they must return.
Either a long sequence was tacked on to give the piece a (too long) extended
running time, or the source material itself was at fault, leading to
over-confidence in the adaptation. Focus is lost in the final 30 minutes,
dissipating everything achieved before - it's a flaw, and a serious one that
made this monkey wonder about the fine line between authenticity and pretention
that appeared to be trodden.
The theatre's programme makes it impossible to really single out individuals to
name (headshots with biographies, please), but suffice to say they do well, and
if the effect is sometimes more "St Trinians" than intended, no matter, it adds
to the fun. Some wonderful one-liners, knowing and disturbing moments that
illuminate late adolescence and early adulthood are here in watchable spades. Do
see it for the performances and first 80 minutes or so alone, is the monkey
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