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01 June 2017 | by Mark Lawson

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Learning the hard way 

Mark Lawson 

Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour 
Duke of York’s Theatre, London 

The Treatment 
Almeida Theatre, London

Though the title and stained-glass poster design of a new London production might tempt coach parties of Catholics, a notice at the door, also with a stained-glass border, advises, in mock-ecclesiastical language, to think hard before booking it for Sister Innocent’s birthday outing: “Prepare thyself for really really rude language … sexual references, excessive drinking and extensive use of the smoke machine.” They’re not joking, although anyone still up for a ticket after that warning is likely to laugh a lot at a drama about a choir at a Scottish convent school in the 1980s that effectively meshes the worlds of two earlier theatrical hits set in girls’ schools – Mary O’Malley’s Once a Catholic (1977) and Denise Deegan’s Daisy Pulls It Off (1983) – although much more graphic than either in its depictions of relationships and rebellions in all-female education. 


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