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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

NUNSENSE (article first published : 2004-11-30)

Very Very Big Productions is to presenting Nunsense over the festive season and has scooped the talents of acclaimed actress/director/broadcaster Fiona Ramsay as director.

Added to that is a cast which includes one of Durbanís favourite performers, Amra Faye Wright, who is to play one of the main leads in the South African production of Chicago next year.

A show within a show featuring five energetic nuns, Nunsense is described as a musical comedy romp with a wry sense of humour. However, you do need to have a broad sense of humour to enjoy the humour as the Order of the Little Sisters of Hoboken - affectionately known as the Little Hobos - stages a fund-raiser of sorts to help sort out the living from the dead, in that order, in their order.

Nunsense revels in its own zaniness, but it is a zaniness rooted in affection, not mean-spiritedness. The 'habit-forming' musical is now virtually the longest running off-Broadway show in history. It has been translated into ten different languages and is currently playing in over 300 theatres around the world. To quote Dan Goggin, writer of the book, music and lyrics, "It all comes down to this: something funny is funnier when a nun does it". Goggin, a former seminarian, created this off-Broadway show from a successful line of Nunsense greeting cards which he devised.

Each of the 'sisters' has something special to share. They're devoted to their calling, but the lure of show business ensnares them:

Sister Robert Anne (Shelley McLean), a tough, streetwise nun with a heart of gold, speaks for all when she confesses "I Just Want to be a Star". Sister Mary Amnesia (Carol Trench) lost her memory when a crucifix fell on her head; Sister Mary Hubert (Nothando Ngubane) is mistress of the novices, and Sister Mary Leo - as in leotard (Tarryn Page), formerly a professional dancer before entering the convent, and always eager to display her talents. Sister Mary Regina (Amra-Faye Wright) is to the outside world a model Mother Superior. But to those who know her she is outrageous and quick-witted.

David Gouldie is responsible for the choreography, Evan Roberts is musical director, Greg King is designing set and costumes and Michael Broderick once again brings his lighting wizardry to the show!

Musical Director Evan Roberts performs with a live five piece band featuring Trish Bailey on guitar; Bruce Baker on drums; Tom Hare on brass and wind and Tory Cassells on keyboards.

The production runs from December 3 to 31 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre with performances from Tuesdays to Fridays at 19h30 with Saturdays at 17h00 and 20h00 and Sundays at 18h00.

Tickets R75 (R60 concessions). Book at Computicket.

(Low price previews with tickets at R55 throughout on December 3 at 19h30, December 4 at 17h00 and 20h00 and December 5 at 18h00.)




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