Playwright BRIAN MULLIN talks backstage

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.

The play comes to Theatre503 (The Latchmere, 503 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 3BW) Tuesday 17th May – Saturday 11th June 2016. Press Night is slated for Friday 20th May, 7.45pm.

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 Philadelphia 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 a 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 is Grady, One Arm (Southwark Playhouse), Pocket Dream (Propeller) and The Life of Galileo (Royal Shakespeare Company).   Anita-Joy Uwajeh will play Felicia, Othello (Edinburgh Festival), Titus Andronicus (Greenwich Theatre), Ivanov (Boris Schukin Theatre Institute).

Brian Mullin 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.”

We Wait In Joyful Hope
by Brian Mullin

Tuesday 17th May – Saturday 11th June 2016
Tuesday to Saturday, 7.45pm
Sunday, 5pm
Running time: 2 hours

Theatre503, The Latchmere, 503 Battersea Park Road, London SW11 3BW

Theatre503 is located on above the Latchmere Pub on the corner of Latchmere Road and Battersea Park Road. The nearest underground stations are Sloane Square (on the Bakerloo and Northern lines then bus 319), South Kensington (on the Bakerloo, Northern, Circle and District lines) then bus 49 or 345, and Vauxhall (on the Northern and Piccadilly lines) then bus 34. The nearest rail station is Clapham Junction.

Tickets are available priced £15 (£12 concessions) Pay What You Can Sundays. Available from Theatre503 Box Office and theatre503.com, 020 7978 7040.