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Once a Catholic (Liverpool)

Janie Phillips finds Kathy Burke's revival of ''Once a Catholic'' to be a very engaging revival.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Written in 1976 by Mary O 'Malley, Once A Catholic is still as funny as when it first made an appearance at the Royal Court Theatre London.

Once a Catholic
© Royal Court

Now after 30 years, it has undergone a renovation under the expert eye of director Kathy Burke, who has brought her wealth of experience in working in TV and theatre to this latest production of the timeless classic.

Set in 1957, the girls of class 5A are all in their last year of school, and decisions about their future need to be made. However, for Mary, Mary and Mary, their time spent at The Convent Of Our Lady Of Fatima may not have been a happy one. Every day they have had to endure the Nuns and the never ending questions from Father Mullarkey. Unlikely friendships are formed, and the girls leave with more experiences then perhaps they originally bargained for.

This is a strong cast, with shining performances from the three Mary's; Molly Logan, Amy Morgan and Katherine Rose Morley. Logan in particular with her vocal skills and her shyness bring a vulnerability to her character that is quite engaging to watch. Mother Peter (Cecilia Noble) and Mother Basil (Clare Cathcart) are particular favourites, often receiving a round of applause at the end of their scenes.

Funny and engaging this is a great revival of a play that has not aged and Burke has done a splendid job in keeping true to O'Malley's script.

Once a Catholic is at Liverpool's Royal Court until 8 February.

- Janie Phillips


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