"A work that's both anthem and elegy, a getting of wisdom that celebrates life even as it breaks your heart."
- The Herald
"One stop short of a full-blown musical, and every bit as exhilarating."
"…full of show-stopping musical moments delivered to perfection."
- The Scotsman
After a sell-out Scottish tour, the critically-acclaimed Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour is bursting onto the stage in Galway.
Adapted by Lee Hall (the Tony and Olivier award-winning genius behind Billy Elliot and The Pitmen Painters, screenplays for Shakespeare in Love, and War Horse, directed by Steven Spielberg) from Alan Warner’s novel The Sopranos, the blisteringly funny musical play tells the story of six raucous Catholic schoolgirls on a choir trip.
Vicky Featherstone, Artistic Director of the Royal Court Theatre and former Artistic Director of National Theatre of Scotland, collaborates with Hall to create both a funny and poignant production about singing, sex and flaming sambucas as the girls go on a rampage across Edinburgh.
Expect love, lust, pregnancy, magic mushrooms and an appearance from the Virgin Mary, all in one alcohol-fuelled day. It comes to a head with fireworks – literally.
Warner’s 1995 debut novel Morvern Callar became a literary phenomenon and Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour expands on his themes of being young, lost and out of control, about losing your virginity and finding yourself.
The soundtrack is a mix of classical music and 70s pop rock, featuring works by Handel, Bach and ELO, with musical arrangement by Martin Lowe (Tony, Grammy and Olivier award-winner for his work on Once The Musical). This is a sharp, clever and poignant look at what it’s like to navigate life on the cusp of adulthood.
This show is only suitable for 16+ and contains strong language and adult themes.
Running time: Approximately 1hr 45 mins with no interval.
Backstage at the Festival:
Post–show talk with the company moderator, Prof. Patrick Lonergan, NUI Galway
Melissa Allan: Orla
Melissa trained with at the Scott School of Singing, Aberdeen and received a Diploma in Musical Theatre from the London College of Music. She has performed with amateur theatre groups including Leading Lights Amateur Theatre Company and Aberdeen Youth Music Theatre in productions such as The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Miss Saigon, Sweeney Todd and West Side Story. The Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour tour in 2015 was Melissa’s professional theatre debut.
Caroline Deyga: Chell
Caroline started her training at Dundee College in Theatre Arts and then in Acting and Performance. In 2013 she graduated from the Acting for Stage and Screen course run jointly by Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University. She was selected for Dundee Rep’s graduate scheme, where productions included Cars and Boys, And Then There Were None, The BFG, Hecuba, Victoria and a tour of the one-woman show The Shape of a Girl. Other recent theatre work includes Tracks of The Winter Bear (Traverse, Edinburgh), The Fair Intellectual Club (Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014/Justin Edwards Productions/ Marilyn Imrie/Stellar Quines/ Tour), Telling the Truth Beautifully and Greenvoe (St Magnus International Festival, Orkney). Her radio work includes a series version of The Fair Intellectual Club which will air on BBC Radio 4 in 2016.
Kirsty Findlay: Understudying Fionnula, Chell and Kay
Kirsty trained at Edinburgh Napier University. Her previous theatre work includes Dead Letter Office (Some Company Productions), Emma by Jane Austen (Edinburgh Napier University), Twelfth Night (Scottish Youth Theatre), In the Heights (Edinburgh University Footlights), You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Edinburgh University Savoy Opera Group) and Fault Lines (For the Love of TC/Edinburgh Napier University). Her television work includes Over the Rainbow.
Karen Fishwick: Kay
Karen trained at Motherwell College. Her previous work with the National Theatre of Scotland includes Glasgow Girls. Other theatre credits include The Overcoat (Ryhmäteatteri, Helsinki/Edinburgh/London), The Caucasian Chalk Circle (winner of Best Ensemble and Best Production at the Critics’ Awards for Theatre in Scotland (CATS) 2015), A Christmas Carol (The Lyceum Edinburgh), Hello, Dolly!, Present Laughter, A Chorus of Disapproval, Lady Windermere’s Fan, The Yellow on the Broom, The Admirable Crichton, Mr.Bolfry, Whisky Kisses (Pitlochry Festival Theatre), Beauty and the Beast (PACE), Hansel and Gretel (Carnegie Hall), Cinderella, Mother Goose (Adam Smith Theatre), Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (Tron, Glasgow), How (Not) to Write a Play, Lucky Lady (Village Pub Theatre), Three Days of Rain (Stratos Theatre) and A Night of Musical Improv (Red Note Ensemble). Her television work includes Badults, James Kirk’s Comedy Blaps and The Illuminati. Her short film work includes The Hum, Checkout, Delilah, Only the Best Need Apply and music videos for The Winter Tradition and The Hostiles. As a musician, Karen features on albums by There Will be Fireworks, Laurie Cameron, Foreign Fox and soundtracks for Where Do We Go From Here (Worrying Drake Productions), Lovesong (Dundee Rep) and The Venetian Twins (Royal Lyceum).
Joanne McGuinness: Understudying Orla, Manda and Kylah.
Joanne studied at the Glasgow Academy of Musical Theatre Arts. Her previous work with the National Theatre of Scotland includes Dragon (with Vox Motus and Tianjin Children’s Art Theatre) and Glasgow Girls. Other recent work includes Peter Pan (Kings Theatre, Glasgow), Life, Love and Liberty (John Cairney, Dumfries), Company (Cottiers, Glasgow), Broadway in the Bar, Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (Tron, Glasgow), I Will Survive (Insideout Productions/ Scottish Tour) and Cinderella (Robert C Kelly Ltd). Her film work includes The Wee Man and a short film Zombie Musical.
Kirsty MacLaren: Manda
Kirsty trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Dance School of Scotland. Her recent theatre credits include The Crucible (The Lyceum Edinburgh), Miracle on 34th Street, The Admirable Crichton, Mr Bolfry, The Yellow on the Broom, Whisky Kisses (Pitlochry Festival Theatre), Sleeping Beauty (Imagine Theatre) and Freak Show (Noisemaker Productions). Kirsty has been involved in the development of new theatre for companies including the National Theatre of Scotland, Stellar Quines and Live Theatre, Newcastle.Her television work includes Children in Need. Her radio work includes A Lulu of a Kid (BBC Radio) and her short film work includes Skin Deep and End of Season.
Frances Mayli McCann: Kylah
Frances trained at Glasgow Academy Musical Theatre Arts. Her theatre work includes Little Shop of Horrors (Salisbury Playhouse/ Mercury Theatre, Colchester), Snow White (King’s Theatre, Edinburgh), Here Lies Love (National Theatre of Great Britain), Priscilla Queen Of The Desert (Palace Theatre, London/UK tour), Snow White (His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen), I Dreamed A Dream: The Susan Boyle Musical (UK tour), Aladdin (Bromley Churchill Theatre and The King’s Glasgow) and Highland Heartbeat (US tour). Her television work includes River City, Lip Service and Against All Odds.
Dawn Sievewright: Fionnula
Dawn trained at GSA Conservatoire and The Dance School of Scotland. Her previous work with the National Theatre of Scotland includes Glasgow Girls. Other theatre work includes Legally Blonde (Savoy Theatre), Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid (macrobert), The A-Z of Mrs P (Southwark Playhouse), Letters From Everyone (Lonesome Schoolboy) and Quadrophenia (UK tour). Her film work includes Beyond. Dawn also performed in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Closing Ceremony.
Amy Shackcloth: Band Leader/Keyboard
Amy studied piano and musical direction at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. Her previous musical theatre work includes Wicked (UK Tour), The Phantom of The Opera (25th Anniversary UK tour), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK tour), Peter Pan (Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin and Mayflower, Southampton), White Christmas (Sunderland Empire), Evita (UK and European tour), Ol’ Blue Eyes and Friends (Dunfermline Alhambra) and A Chorus Line (Tel Aviv Opera House).
Laura Bangay: Band Leader/Keyboard
Laura trained at the University of Leeds. For the past four and a half years she has worked as Children’s Musical Director and Associate Conductor on Matilda The Musical (Cambridge Theatre) for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Other work as a Musical Director for theatre includes The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Birmingham Rep), Eric’s (Liverpool Everyman), The Witches of Eastwick (Albany Theatre), Anything Goes (Arts Educational Schools) and Mountview Musical Theatre Showcase (Criterion). As a Children’s Musical Director, her work includes The Sound of Music (National UK Tour). Her film work as a Musical Director includes Pride. Laura also works regularly at Arts Educational Schools, London.
Emily Linden: Guitar
Emily studied at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Her theatre credits include Pharaoh ‘Cross The Mersey, Scouse of the Antarctic, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Fazakerley (Royal Court, Liverpool), Mam! I’m ‘Ere! (Royal Court, Liverpool/Dome Theatre, Liverpool), The Official Story of LFC (Echo Arena, Liverpool/Odyssey Arena, Belfast), YNWA: The Official History of Liverpool Football Club (Royal Court, Liverpool/ Gaiety Theatre, Dublin), Departure Lounge (Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012) and Spring Awakening (Paul McCartney Auditorium, LIPA). Emily also performs and writes for various artists throughout the UK including Country singer songwriter Frankie Davies.
Becky Brass: Percussion
Becky graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Greenwich in 2015. She is a classically trained drummer and percussionist. She has played in the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics and with Colin Currie at the 2014 Southbank Centre Festival of Percussion. She was a guest musician for the 2015 world premiere of Hofesh Shechter’s Untouchable at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and played drums and percussion for the Unicorn Theatre’s 2015 production Baddies. Becky is the drummer and arranger for Chiqas and is proudly endorsed by Zildjian cymbals.
Lee Hall: Adaptation
Lee studied English Literature at the University of Cambridge. He has been writer in residence at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Live Theatre, Newcastle Upon Tyne. His theatre work includes The Pitmen Painters (Live Theatre/National Theatre of Great Britain/Broadway/ London’s West End/UK tour, Evening Standard Best Play Award and TMA Best New Play Award), Billy Elliot - the Musical (London/Australia/Broadway/Chicago, Olivier Award - Best Musical and nine Tony Awards including Best Book) and Cooking with Elvis (Live Theatre/ London’s West End). Adaptations include Shakespeare In Love (Noel Coward Theatre), The Barber of Seville (Bristol Old Vic), The Good Hope (National Theatre of Great Britain), Mother Courage (Shared Experience/Ambassadors Theatre), The Adventures of Pinocchio (Lyric, Hammersmith), A Servant to Two Masters (Royal Shakespeare Company/Young Vic), Mr Puntila and his man Matti (Almeida) and Leonce and Lena (The Gate Theatre). Opera work includes the English adaptation of Pagliacci (English National Opera). Film work includes War Horse and Billy Elliot (Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay). Television work includes Toast, The Wind in the Willows, A Prince of Hearts and Spoonface Steinberg. Radio work includes I Luv You Jimmy Spud (Writers’ Guild Award Best New Play/ Gold Sony Award Best new play/ Alfred Bradley Award/ Society of Authors Award), Spoonface Steinberg, I Love You, Ragie Patel, The Sorrows of Sandra Saint, Blood Sugar, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, Gristle, Child of the Snow and Child of the Rain, all for the BBC.
Vicky Featherstone: Director
Vicky is the Artistic Director of the Royal Court in London. She was Artistic Director of Paines Plough (1997-2005) and the founding Artistic Director of the National Theatre of Scotland (2005-2012). Her work as director for the National Theatre of Scotland includes Enquirer (co-director), Appointment with the Wicker Man, 27, The Wheel, Somersaults, Wall of Death: A Way of Life (codirector),The Miracle Man, Empty, Long Gone Lonesome, Cockroach (with Traverse), 365 (with Edinburgh International Festival), Mary Stuart (with Citizens/The Lyceum, Edinburgh) and The Wolves in the Walls (co-director) (with Improbable/UK tour/ New Victory, New York). Productions for the Royal Court include X, Cyprus Avenue, How to Hold Your Breath, God Bless the Child, Maidan: Voices from the Uprising, The Mistress Contract, The Ritual Slaughter of Gorge Mastromas, Untitled Matriarch Play and The President Has Come to See You (Open Court Weekly Rep). Work for Paines Plough includes The Small Things, Pyrenees, The Drowned World, Tiny Dynamite, Crazy Gary’s Mobile Disco, Splendour, Riddance, The Cosmonaut’s Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union and Crave. Work created for television includes Where the Heart Is and Silent Witness.
Martin Lowe: Music Arranger & Supervisor
Martin’s previous work for the National Theatre of Scotland includes Appointment with the Wicker Man and The Wolves in the Walls. Other theatre work includes The Twits, Hope (Royal Court, London), Once (Broadway, West End, Melbourne), The Threepenny Opera, Jedermann (Salzburg Festival), The Light Princess, War Horse, Caroline or Change, Jerry Springer The Opera, A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Forum, Nation (National Theatre of Great Britain), The Lily’s Revenge (American Repertory Theatre), Mamma Mia! (London’s West End/Shanghai/Tokyo/Seoul/International Tour/ Stockholm), The Full Monty, Once on This Island, Cats and Les Misérables (London’s West End). His composition work includes The Misanthrope, The Secret Rapture, Hysteria (Chichester Festival Theatre), The Blue Room (Minerva/London’s West End), Lettice and Lovage (UK Tour), Into Exile, Dear Exile (BBC Radio 4). He has also worked extensively as an orchestrator for theatre and has made many recordings. Film work includes Mamma Mia! And Greetings From Tim Buckley. Martin’s awards include Tony, Olivier, Grammy, Drama Desk, Green Room, Helpmann and Obie Awards for Once and a Golden Reel Award for Mamma Mia! The Movie.
Chloe Lamford: Designer
Chloe trained in Theatre Design at Wimbledon School of Art. She received the Arts Foundation Fellowship for Design for Performance 2013. She is currently Associate Designer at the Royal Court in London. Her previous work for the National Theatre of Scotland includes My Shrinking Life, Appointment with the Wicker Man and Knives in Hens. Other designs for theatre include Rules for Living, The World of Extreme Happiness (National Theatre of Great Britain), 1984 (West End/Headlong/Almeida), The Twits, God Bless The Child, How to Hold Your Breath, Circle Mirror Transformation, Teh Internet is Serious Business, 2071, Open Court (Royal Court, London), Atmen, Ophelias Zimmer (Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Berlin), Het Hamilton Complex (Hetpaleis, Antwerp), Salt, Root and Roe (Donmar Warehouse), The Events (ATC/Young Vic), Disco Pigs, Sus (Young Vic), Blackta (costume design) (Young Vic), Praxis Makes Perfect, The Radicalisation of Bradley Manning (National Theatre Wales) and Boys (HeadlongTheatre). Her opera work includes Alcina (Aix-en-Provence Festival), The Little Sweep, Let’s Make An Opera (Malmö Opera House, Sweden) and The Magic Flute (English Touring Opera).
Imogen Knight: Choreographer
Imogen’s previous work with the National Theatre of Scotland includes In Time o’ Strife, Appointment with the Wicker Man and The Missing. Recent theatre work includes Threepenny Opera, Les Blancs, I Want My Hat Back, Edward II (National Theatre of Great Britain), Red Velvet (London’s West End), Five Finger Exercise (The Print Room), Linda, God Bless The Child, The Low Road, A Time To Reap (Royal Court London), Measure For Measure, Dirty Butterfly (Young Vic), The Skriker (Manchester International Festival/Royal Exchange, Manchester), Carmen Disruption, Little Revolution, The Turn of the Screw, King Lear, Filumena, Measure for Measure, When the Rain Stops Falling (Almeida), The Broken Heart, ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore (Shakespeare’s Globe) and OMG! (Sadler’s Wells/Company of Angels/The Place - Winner of the Choreography for Children Award 2012). Her television work includes Call The Midwife and Hollow Crown, and for film she was the choreographer on My Name is Ruthie Segal, Hear Me Roar for the Jewish Film Festival 2009.
Lizzie Powell: Lighting Designer
Lizzie’s previous lighting designs for the National Theatre of Scotland include: In Time o’ Strife, Glasgow Girls, My Shrinking Life, Enquirer, Appointment with the Wicker Man, Knives In Hens, Girl X, Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off, Our Teacher’s A Troll, Venus As A Boy and Debuts, Cockroach, Nasty, Brutish and Short + The Dogstone and Nobody Will Ever Forgive Us (with Traverse, Edinburgh). Other theatre work includes Endgame, The Choir, Fever Dream: Southside, The Libertine, Far Away/ Seagulls, Krapp’s Last Tape/Footfalls (Citizens, Glasgow), Violence and Son (Royal Court London), The Brink (Orange Tree), Fruit Trilogy (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Romeo and Juliet (Sheffield Crucible), Anna Karenina (Royal Exchange, Manchester/ West Yorkshire Playhouse), Secret Theatre (Lyric, Hammersmith/Tour), Rupture, White Gold (Iron Oxide), Idomeneus (Gate), Cinderella, Mother Goose, Jack and the Beanstalk (Perth), Caged, Poppy and Dingan, The Book of Beasts (Catherine Wheels), Spring Awakening, While You Lie, Any Given Day, The Dark Things (Edinburgh Traverse), Pangaa (Ankur) and Huxley’s Lab (Grid Iron/Lung Ha/Edinburgh Festival Theatre).
Mike Walker: Sound Designer
Mike trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London. His theatre work includes Three Winters, Chewing Gum Dreams, Home, Hymn, St Matthew Passion, Major Barbara, Caroline or Change, Jerry Springer – The Opera (Olivier Award for Best Sound Design) (National Theatre of Great Britain), Flowers for Mrs Harris (Crucible), Hobson’s Choice (UK Tour), Hapgood, Drawing the Line (Hampstead), Enemy of the People, For Services Rendered (Chichester), Temple (Donmar), Man to Man (Weston Studio), Kill Me Now (The Park), Taken at Midnight (Chichester/ Haymarket), Oh! What a Lovely War (Stratford East/ tour), The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (Chichester/ Duchess), Crazy for You (Regent’s Park/Novello), Into The Woods, Hello Dolly!, Gigi (Regent’s Park), The Herd, Disgraced (The Bush), The Three Musketeers (Rose, Kingston), Aspects of Love (UK Tour), The Tempest, The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Forbidden City, Honk!, A Twist of Fate and Into The Woods (Singapore). With his company, Loh Humm Audio, Mike provides audio engineering services for theatres.
Debbie Hannan: Associate Director
Debbie trained in directing at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and was Trainee Director at the Royal Court in London. Her theatre credits as a Director include Conspiracy (Royal Welsh College/Gate Theatre), The Session (Soho Theatre), Lot and His God, Notes from the Underground (Citizens, Glasgow), The Five Steps, Primetime, Who Cares, Spaghetti Ocean (Royal Court, London), Vinyl Idol, CauseWay, Woman of the Year (Òran Mór); liberty, equality, fraternity (Tron, Glasgow/Traverse, Edinburgh), Sucker (Old Vic New Voices), PANORAMA, Roses Are Dead (Arches, Glasgow). Her previous work with the National Theatre of Scotland as an Assistant Director includes A Doll’s House and Enquirer. Other work as Assistant Director includes The Maids and Sleeping Beauty (Citizens, Glasgow). As Associate Director her credits include Constellations (Royal Court, London/ UK Tour) and Little on the Inside (Clean Break).
Chris Simpson: Associate Sound Designer
Chris trained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. As a Sound Designer his work includes Spring Awakening (Singapore), Hamlet! The Musical (UK Tour), Pericles (Regent’s Park) and Tommy (Royal Academy of Music). As Associate Sound Designer, credits include Oh! What a Lovely War (Stratford East/Tour), Dear World (Charing Cross), Crazy for You (Novello), Goodbye Barcelona (Arcola), Aspects of Love (UK Tour), Jerry Springer - The Opera (London / Tour), Peter Pan (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Chicago, Chang and Eng (Kuala Lumpur) and Rent (Singapore).
Stuart Morley: Associate Music Supervisor
Stuart studied at Trinity College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. His Musical Direction credits include We Will Rock You (London’s West End), Elf – The Musical (London/ Ireland), Tommy (UK tour), Brian May and Kerry Ellis’s Anthems (Royal Albert Hall/UK Tour), Night of 1000 Voices (Royal Albert Hall), Love Beyond (Wembley Arena), Ray Cooney’s Time’s Up (UK Premiere) and Ruth Jones’ 2011 Christmas Cracker (BBC Wales). He was Associate Musical Director for the West End revival of Cabaret and Choral Director for Chess in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Stuart has conducted two albums; Heartstrings (English Chamber Orchestra for Classic FM) and Journey (London Mozart Players). In 2012 he orchestrated and co-produced the re-release of Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé’s Barcelona album. Other arranging credits include Michael Rose/ ATG’s Monkee Business, Love Beyond (Brighton Centre/Wembley), The Queen Extravaganza (US tour) and orchestrations for the Central Band of the Royal Air Force.
He was made an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2011.