Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour, presented by National Theatre of Scotland and Live Theatre is most certainly a show for those that love their humor dirty and their characters loud. It’s a dazzling affair that tells the story of six young girls coming of age . The work is based on The Sopranos, adapted by Lee Hall from the words on Alan Warner and as an adaption it is mostly successful. However, in wanting to create a performance resonate of the times it perhaps does not overcome all challenges. In fact, the characters here may of been fresh fodder for audience say ten years ago, but having being presented with the same stereotypes in so many works not just restricted to stage, but perhaps more prevalently in movies as example, there is little that breathes fresh life.
Let talk about the works merit, it is indeed humorous, with each of the characters endearing themselves to the audience in their own particular way, it’s with sheer delight you watch as they turn from the most sickly of sweet schools girl to sex obsessed rampant loud mouthed teenagers in the blink of an eye. Director Vicky Featherstone, has made from this performance, a tightly wound coil, that pensively unravels. The sense of dual identity associated with each of these characters as they slip between scenes is also impressive. It takes the loose shape of some rollicking musical, with each of the performers taking to the score with more than enough youthful bravado; from choral numbers to those songs with a bit more kick the musicality is on point. The Band, led by Laura Bangay and joined by Becky Brass and Emily Linden, know this work inherently and it shows, the trio support the ensemble as a whole, though more could of been done to involve and in turn unify the cast, too often the band felt like an unnecessary addition instead of an element that should do more than just accompany.
Our Ladies Of Perpetual Succour works with lighting intelligently, subtle changes of color allow the underling emotion to be drawn out. On the other end of the spectrum, the performance works with the most grotesque and colorful of disco lights to best ability, emanating the sad and faded interior of bars that are well past their hay days. Set design by Chloe Lamford, makes the most of the small space, and has kept within a limited colour palate that extends right the way through this production.
This is quality theatre, though perhaps made all the better if you are able to look past the somewhat tired narrative and characters that the work is built around. It’s indeed poignant, in your face and unapologetic and worthy of a look, it’s playing at The Arts Centre, Fair Fax Studio until October 22nd, for more info click here