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01 June 2017 | by Mark Lawson

On Song


Theatre

 

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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