Review-Nunsense!-Hong Kong Singers


By: Satoshi Kyo

The last time I saw Nunsense! must have been more than twenty years ago. I remember enjoying it and am kind of surprised that it is not performed in Hong Kong more often (though there was a Cantonese version of it in 2010 and 2011 by Theatrespace). Given that it requires token staging, almost zero costume change and a tiny cast of five, it is ideal for an amateur theatre group like The Hong Kong Singers.

Dan Goggin’s musical comedy is more of a revue actually. As the title suggested, the show was a series of jokes about nuns. At the very start of the show, the nuns explained that they are of the order of Little Sisters of Hoboken who needed to raise funds to bury four “blue nuns” who were still in the freezer because they ran out of money after burying 48 of 52 sisters, who in return were accidentally poisoned by their cook – Sister Julia, Child of God. Get the drift? How about the clock with the twelve apostles, “when the big hand is on the John and the little hand is on the Peter, it’s time for all the sisters to go down on their knees!” The jokes straddled between cute and corny; but thanks to director Allan Nazareno and the fabulous cast, the show in the intimate McAulay Studio managed to stay away from the wrong side.

Due to Lyn Sigson (playing Reverend Mother) losing her voice, the supposed cast of five became four; and the opening night show was judiciously fiddled to accommodate the “loss”. Unless one is familiar with the musical, the cuts and changes were not too obvious and one can still easily enjoy the show. The production was simple while the attention to details was inconsistent. Why would the production remember to make the nuns wear their ring (symbol of perpetual commitment) yet managed to sneak in a Shanghai Tang bathrobe?

What is important, however, is the energy and talent of the cast, and they were all absolutely fabulous! Samantha Kriegel’s Sister Mary Hubert was dignified and she beautifully led the spiritual gospel Holier Than Thou to a great climactic end. Fiona Gourlay Grant’s Sister Mary Leo was sweet as a novice who longs to become the first ballerina nun. As for the darling diva of Hong Kong amateur theatre Janice Jensen, while she may not be the most confident dancer, she was definitely the most confident singer and toughest tawkin’ New Yawk sista. The biggest surprise of the evening however was Ginny Moore’s Sister Mary Amnesia. Moore was a remarkable comic and a convincing country singer.

Overall, it was a one well-done, tons-of-fun-and-pun nun show!

HK Singers' Nunsense! will be playing at the McAulay Studio in Wanchai through Saturday. For more information please click here.

Rate This Show: 1 2 3 4 5 Audience Rating: 3.0


  • Donna Kraebel
    25 October 2012

    Saw the opening show last evening! The story is whimsical and light, the actors abilities to take on the personalities of the characters was exceptional as we felt that we knew these characters... worts and all. The singing was amazing! Well done!
  • Aissa Montecillo
    25 October 2012

    The show was wonderful. It was hysterical. I saw this in New York about 20 years ago as well and was excited when I learned it was being staged here. I agree that the singing was great and the acting superb. If I could, I'd watch it again and hope to catch the jokes I may have missed!
    To the cast, well done!
  • Maggie
    25 October 2012

    Great Show! I saw it with my 11 year old daughter, she loved it too. Fabulous singing!
  • Molly
    26 October 2012

    Fiona and Ginny were especially fabulous.
  • Manda
    28 October 2012

    Saw the last performance. Some of the voices sounded really tired and pitchy.

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