Saturday, December 03, 2005

Postcards From God

On Tuesday I went to see a rehearsed reading of the musical Marcus is writing called "Postcards From God", about the life and work of Sister Wendy Beckett, the art-loving nun who improbably shot to fame via her TV show. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, for a start I didn’t even know what he meant by a “rehearsed reading”.

The evening started badly for me, thanks to some drunken football fans causing trouble at a tube station further down the line, my train was delayed by 15 minutes, hence I only arrived in the nick of time and so didn’t get a program or a complementary glass of wine. At least I didn’t have to sit around for ages waiting for it to start. I was surprised by the size of the audience, I was expecting it to be quite a select and intimate gathering, but the room actually turned out to be full with several hundred people! Maybe Sister Wendy had a word with ‘im Upstairs or something.

As for the performance itself, well it seems like “rehearsed reading” means the participants basically read (and sing, it being a musical) the script out, including the stage directions, but in the manner they would when acting for real and speaking from memory. It seems to be a way of giving us a flavour of the show whilst it’s still very much a “work-in-progress”. It was very well executed, the songs were clever and witty and a lot of hard work had obviously gone into it. I don’t really know that much about Sister Wendy herself, but it sounded like she has had an interesting life (well, most nuns don’t end up with their own TV show for a start!) and therefore an appropriate choice of subject for a light-hearted, offbeat musical. Although at the time I didn’t really think it was my sort of thing, having thought about it on-and-off for the past few days, I’m now quite curious to see the finished show; not sure when it will be ready, but probably several months into next year.


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