The premise behind Nunsense is ludicrous. The members of a convent in New Jersey have been killed by botulism and there aren’t funds to bury all fifty-two of the deceased sisters. Four have been left in the deep-freeze until such time as money has been raised to bury them. The nuns are staging a show to raise those additional funds to rid themselves of the albatross around their collective necks – the four frozen nuns.
And that is that.
There is no more plot than that and what follows is, to all intents and purposes, a variety show as the nuns do their ‘turns’ – some of which are much more successful than others in Portsmouth Players’ own fundraising presentation.
Director Sheila Elsdon has assembled an able cast.
Jeanette Broad plays the Reverend Mother with her usual brassiness and Jacqueline Willis belts out her numbers with assurance. And so, so good to see Sarah Pilbeam back on a Portsmouth stage after a twenty year break. Let’s hope we see more of her from now on.
Helen Wilson, Kerry Partridge, Sue Mansbridge, Lauren Potter and Kerry Abbatt make up the rest of the cast and, generally, pull it off, although by far the funniest and most successful section of the show is carried by Broad, Pilbeam and Wilson as they take us through ‘Baking with the Blessed Virgin Mary’.
There was some uncertainty with dance-steps and words from time-to-time, but the spirit of the show carries you along, come-what-may.