Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour, Adam Smith Theatre
Take six girls, let ‘em loose in Edinburgh for 24 hours ... and strap in and enjoy the journey!
This show was a sensation at the Edinburgh Fringe and its now touring to full houses, and deservedly so. It’s another outstanding piece of work from the National Theatre of Scotland.
It tells the story of a choir from Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour - or ‘the Virgin Megastore’ as the girls call it - who travel from Oban to Edinburgh to take part in a national competition.
Let off the leash, six of them hit the big city with a mission to party hard before taking their tales and escapades back to their town’s sole disco, the Mantrap.
And boy do they live for the moment - the recklessness of youth fuelled by an alcohol intake that would floor a stag party of squaddies takes them into crazy situations and encounters. Their mantra is simple - ‘’we’re gonna go mental.’’
And they do! Sixteen and indestructible, but still, oh so fragile. It’s laugh out loud funny, and gloriously, inventively sweary throughout - their vivid, unrepeatable descriptions of bodily functions would leave Renton and Spud from Trainspotting squirming with embarrassment - but it’s also deeply moving and poignant as we learn more about each of the six girls and the lives they’ve yet to live.
One has cancer, one is destined for uni, one wants to be a rock star, one has a complicated - her sister is her auntie, her dad’s no’ really her dad - one who just wants to find love, and one sticks powdered milk in her bath and pretends she’s Cleopatra.
The wonderfully talented female cast also play all the other roles - from nuns to bartenders to dodgy blokes on the pull - and their hopes, dreams, and their fears, drive the story through a rollicking 24 hours in the city and the consequences their behaviour has. They’re kids in an adult world and a very different environment where sheer cheek and gobbiness can only get you so far.
And their individual stories are teased out by a glorious soundtrack of music from ELO - it works in so many ways even Jeff Lynne couldn’t possibly have imagined as he penned ‘Wild West Hero’ and ‘Mr Blue Sky’ - a little bit of Bob Marley and some pitch perfect choral music too.
Huge credit to the cast of six who deliver all of this without pausing for breath once from start to finish.
I’m not sure I’d survive a night on the lash with Orla, Chell, Kay, Manda, Kylah and Fionnula, but boy it’d be a heck of a way to go!
>> Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour plays the Adam Smith Theatre on Tuesday and then transfers to the Brunton Hall, Musselburgh.