When a piece can shatter a stereotypical view and offer an unconventional lens to a situation, then you know what you are witnessing is of great importance. Theatre503 Writer in Residence, Brian Mullin delivers a powerhouse of a lead in the thought provoking We Wait in Joyful Hope.
Sister Bernie D’Amago runs the roost, a no nonsense, unassuming, unapologetic nun who throws the rule book out of the window and re-writes her very own, taking each day as it comes, doing whatever she can to protect those most dearest. Maggie McCarthy triumphs as Bernie, her nonchalant prowess completely stealing the show from it’s very beginning, all the way to it’s end. She’s the nucleus in which everyone, including the audience can’t help but gravitate towards. She is truly unique, she’s flawed but 100% owns that and teems with authenticity.
Anita-Joy Uwajeh‘s Felicia embodies the feistiness of a 16 year old ignored by her family. She has a worldliness that can only be learnt from those who have had to fend for themselves, yet desperately tries to cover up the vulnerability that is almost unavoidable at that age. At the age teens feel like they know everything, yet it’s crystal clear how much she yearns for a maternal figure and her relationship with Sister Bernie endears. Equal in gregariousness, their games of scrabble beautifully juxtapose with their heated exchanges about Felicia’s love life and her future prospects.
Deirdra Morris‘ Joanne offers an antithesis to Bernie’s free spiritedness. Once a nun, but leaving the church for mysterious reasons, she is the picture of what we’d typically associate a nun to be. Witnessing Bernie and Joanne’s exchanges are comical, but feel overwritten. The production is a slow burner with the intention of establishing all 4 cast members which it does, especially in the case of the 3 female characters. The evening feels like a character study and authenticity is king.
Katherine Heath‘s low maintenance down town living quarters brilliantly validate the authenticity prevalent whilst Lisa Cagnacci‘s direction highlights that simplicity is key. I watch thinking that Mullin has created a social commentary that in a century will be looked back on as being a pivotal text within our day and age. Themes of religion, feminism, morality, economy and well being are all subtly covered, but not preached. There are no straight forward answers offered to issues either, rather the piece is true to life and doesn’t attempt to be heroic. 3.5/5
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
We Wait in Joyful Hope is currently showing at Theatre503 until Saturday 11th June. For more information on the production, visit here…
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