We Wait In Joyful Hope
Theatre503, The Latchmere, 503 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 3BW
Tuesday 17th May – Saturday 11th June 2016
Brian Mullin’s debut drama is a frank and wry portrait of modern feminism, friendship and one extraordinary woman, determined to take on the world.
We Wait In Joyful Hope is a funny and touching exploration of religion and capitalism in contemporary America.
Sister Bernie D’Amato is a force to be reckoned with. After thirty years running a women’s centre in a New Jersey slum she’s won battles with priests, police and even gang leaders. But now she’s facing her biggest threat yet. With property developers buying up the neighbourhood, and only an ageing ex-nun and a 16-year-old X-Factor wannabe to help, Bernie’s mission to save the centre is becoming ever more of a challenge.
Staged during the biggest displacement crisis of our time, We Wait In Joyful Hope powerfully illustrates the importance of community and having a place to call ‘home’.
Brian Mullin was brought up in Boston by his aunt, a former Catholic nun who founded one of the first shelters for homeless women in New York City. He comments,
I wanted to pay tribute to the strong women who hold communities together and, in my experience, few women are stronger, more dedicated – and more unsung – than nuns. When I was inspired to write the play, I ended up going back to the US where I interviewed a number of nuns, now in their 70s, about their lives and work. Sister Bernie is product of this research – tough, rebellious and, sometimes, impossible to deal with. But, even as everything around her seems to be changing, she keeps fighting for the causes she’s always believed in.
Sister Bernie D’Amato will be played by Maggie McCarthy whose theatre credits include Doctors Dilemma, Children of The Sun and Absence of War for the National Theatre. She will be joined by Deirdra Morris (The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant (Southwark Playhouse), The Trojan Woman (Empty Space) and The Women (Old Vic)) as Joanne; James Tucker (One Arm (Southwark Playhouse), Pocket Dream (Propeller) and The Life of Galileo (Royal Shakespeare Company)) as Grady; and Anita-Joy Uwajeh (Othello (Edinburgh Festival), Titus Andronicus (Greenwich Theatre), Ivanov (Boris Schukin Theatre Institute)) as Felicia.
Brian was selected from over 800 applicants to join the 503Five Writer-in-Residence scheme which offers mentorship, advice and support to emerging playwrights. Previous winners of the 503Five scheme include Chris Urch (Bruntwood Prize winner, Land of Our Fathers, The Rolling Stone) and Jon Brittain (Rotterdam, Margaret Thatcher Queen of Soho), while other playwrights whose careers began at Theatre503 include Duncan MacMillan (People, Places and Things) and Anna Ziegler (Photograph 51).
Director Lisa Cagnacci comments,
after a very competitive selection process we ended up with five fantastic playwrights on attachment with us for the last 18 months and we’ve really enjoyed working with them. We commit to producing one of the five plays written during the attachment and on this occasion Brian Mullin’s We Wait In Joyful Hope has been
chosen. I’m very excited to be directing such a beautifully written and finely detailed portrait of a very radical and complicated woman. Most people’s ideas of nuns have been defined by Sister Act or The Sound of Music, whereas this play offers a more nuanced perspective on an extraordinary group of women.