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Past Shows (2000-now)
 
Nunsense
 
Played 13 July - 7 August, 2016 at PJ Live Arts @ Jaya One
Played 27 – 31 July, 2016 at Penang PAC @ Straits Quay
Directed by Richard Harding Gardner Produced by Natalie Chong
Musical Direction by Llew Marsh Choreography by Joseph Gonzales
 
NUNSENSE Fifteen years after its original KL production, we brought NUNSENSE back with Shanthini Venugopal reprising her original role as Mother Superior, plus the wonderful talents of Junji Delfino, Elvira Arul, Nicole-Ann Thomas, Teresa Goh with Llew Marsh as Musical Director, and Dr. Joseph Gonzales as choreographer (just before taking up his new position as Head of Academic Affairs at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts). We will miss him!
 
AUDIO PREVIEW
  Holier Than Thou
 
  Just a Coupl a Sisters
 
  Nunsense Is Habit-Forming
 
  So You Want to Be a Nun
 
  Tackle That Temptation With a Time-Step
 
SYNOPSIS
Nunsense is a hilarious talent show staged by five survivors from the Little Sisters of Balakong, the rest of the sisters having succumbed to botulism after eating tainted tom yum prepared by Sister Julia, Child of God. The remaining "Little Sisters" parade their talents at a variety show staged to raise funds so that the last four of the dearly departed can be rescued from the freezer and given a proper burial!

Nunsense The Musical has raised millions of dollars for churches, schools, missions and orphanages during its over 30 years of fun-filled irreverence! Winner of the Outer Critics' Circle Award and Best-Off Broadway musical during its original New York run, Nunsense also set records for theatre in Kuala Lumpur when Gardner & Wife's first produced the show in 2001.

Gardner & Wife is very excited to have two of the original 2001 company returning: Shanthini Venogupal as Mother Superior; and Dr. Joseph Gonzales, choreographer!

Come see Nunsense – and find out why “nun” rhymes with “fun”!
 
CASTSISTER MARY REGINA picture
Shanthini Venugopal as SISTER MARY REGINA

The beloved Mother Superior of the Little Sisters of Balakong, is originally from a small south of Thailand and north Singapore. She headed the pioneering group of religious workers who established the leper colony in East Malaysia and later returned to Balakong as Superior General of the Order. After Nunsense, Mother Superior says she has no desire to continue in the theatre. But rumor has it that she would consider doing national commercials or a television series to raise money for the Order. Prior to taking her vows, Sister Mary Regina was Shanthini Venugopal. She has been in theatre for over 30 years as a singer, actor, voice over talent, storyteller, director, and teacher. In 2003, The Jumping JellyBeans (JJB) was formed and participated in International Children’s Theatre festivals in Iran, Singapore, India and Germany. She acted in the Hollywood movie ‘Anna and the King’ co-starring with Jodie Foster and Chow Yuen Fatt in 1999. JJB was awarded the Cameronian Awards for ‘Best Community Arts project’ in 2005 for their work with special students. Shanthini was a pioneer member of The Instant Cafe Theatre Co. since 1989.  She had a major role in Masakini’s production of  ‘Chow Kit Road! Chow Kit Road! The Musical’  and she's 'Aunty English' on ASTRO TV.
 
SISTER MARY HUBERT pictureElvira Arul as SISTER MARY HUBERT entered the Little Sisters of Balakong upon graduation from Precious Blood Elementary School. Sister currently serves the Order as Mistress of Novices, training new recruits. Sister is a little “off-the-wall” at times but this has been attributed to the fact the she was trampled by a camel that went berserk during the annual nativity pageant. Sister Mary Hubert is the former Elvira Arul.
 
SISTER MARY AMNESIA pictureJunji Delfino as SISTER MARY AMNESIA is truly a lost soul. She arrived at the convent in her habit without a clue as to her identity…recalling only that a crucifix fell on her head. It has been said that she resembles Junji Delfino, who learned ventriloquism when she became a Little Sister of Balakong.
 
SISTER ROBERT ANNE pictureNicole-Ann Thomas as SISTER ROBERT ANNE was a child of a disadvantaged Sentul family. When the administration of Brickfields Polytechnic Auto Repair School discovered that this car-stripping kid was actually a female, she was expelled. Reverend Mother took pity on poor little Nicole-Ann Thomas and accepted her into the Little Sisters of Balakong, where she became Sister Robert Anne. Today she is one of the most popular sisters with their young students because she “speaks their language”. Reverend Mother regrets the fact that a lot of this language is unprintable. Sister Robert Anne has a very checkered career prior to entering the convent, including the time she was engaged to hot wire a BMW Z4 at Bangsar Shopping Centre and inadvertently ended up in the Actors Studio during the original staging of Nunsense back in 2001. She laughed so hard and vowed to herself that she is going to be in a production like that some day. So rest assured, when auditions for this re-staging came about, she was as fast as lightning to sign up. And now that she's actually IN it, she is sh****** bricks at the thought of living up to the previous fabulous nuns. Nevertheless, she is grateful for her role - yes, she is - and she would,like to thank Chae Lian, Richard and God (not necessarily in that order) for believing in her...
 
SISTER MARY LEO pictureTeresa Goh as SISTER MARY LEO came to the order from a Penang farm. She entered the convent to dedicate her life to God thought the dance. Many people think that she took her name from the famous “leotard”, but that is not true. She is named after her Uncle Leo, a notorious Singapore gangster. Sister Leo thought that by taking his name, the Lord would go easy with him. She is a novice and has much to learn. Before joining the Order, Sister was known as Teresa Goh, who tested her performing ability by appearing in her first musical, Madworld (2010, SIBKL & DUMC). In 2014, she part of A Woman at War ensemble in KLPAC’s S+S Musical Category and later that year, in a smaller production, More Than A Show (2014, SIBKL). Despite her limited experience, her disposition towards performing landed her the leading role in Esya: The Musical (2015, SIBKL) where she personified an innocent-turned-wanton kampong girl through two platforms – stage and screen. Earlier this year, prior to taking her vow of poverty, she had the opportunity to work with veterans of the arts in PAN Productions’ staging of Sondheim’s Into The Woods. Teresa has extensive experience in band performances, notably in weddings, corporate dinner and other private functions.
 
RICHARD GARDNER pictureDIRECTOR RICHARD HARDING GARDNER
Richard started working as an actor in theatre in London, Madrid, Nairobi, Johannesburg, Houston and Los Angeles. Here, along with Chae Lian, he co-founded Gardner & Wife Theatre and since 2000 has brought in over 50 different theatre productions from the UK, US, Ireland, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, etc. In Malaysia, he has directed the stage productions of Alan Ayckbourn's RELATIVELY SPEAKING, the comedy-with-music SOUVENIR , the musical comedies NUNSENSE and A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, as well as adapting and directing for the Malaysian stage CHARLEY'S AUNTIE! and SHEAR MADNESS.
 
JOSEPH GONZALES pictureMUSICAL DIRECTOR LLEW MARSH

CHOREOGRAPHY
JOSEPH GONZALES (pictured)
 
CREW
2016 Crew
Stage Manager – Woon Siew Yin
Asst. Stage Manager – Jewel Yip
Sound Coordinator – Carmen Chang
Lighting Designer – Yusman Mokhtar

2001 Crew
Costume Designer - Akma Suriati
Sound Designer - Wong Pek Fui
Lighting Designer - Chris Jacobs
Stage Manager - Gan Hui Yee
Asst. Stage Manager - Winnie Tan
Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu set courtesy of Cinematic Productions
 
REVIEWS
The Malay Mail28/08/2001 The Malay Mail by Wilson Henry
EXCUSE ME, SISTERS, YOUR DRAWERS ARE SHOWING!
a successful staging… Shanthini Venugopal… sang the roof off and gave some of the night's most exciting performance… had the audience roaring in laughter… Individually, each of them showed an astonishing singing range… Cheah Siew Oui did not just have a face to go with it, she played Mary Amnesia to the hilt… This is a must-see + more

The Star02/09/2001 The Star by Rubin Khoo
FUN BEHIND THE HABITS
crowd-pleaser Shanthini Venugopal… induces smiles just by simply walking onto the stage… carried most of the show… + more

The SunThe Sun by Sherry Siebel
WHEN NUNS TAKE TO FUNNY HABITS
that firecracker of an actress, Mary George… Zoë Christian redeems herself big-time… It's classic… Shanthini Venugopal, too, puts in a robust and most realistic performance… worth the price of admission + more

10-16 September 2001 Day & Night by Jacobus Raj
RISQUE NUNS AND THEIR SAVING GRACE
a load of laughs and definitely great fun to watch… Joseph Gonzales… choreographer… should be congratulated for the cohesive and tight dance moves… these women can sing + more

Kakiseni28/08/2001 Kakiseni by Antares
HOLY PAP! BURLESQUE NUNS!
Gardner & Wife found themselves the perfect cast… Shanthini's well-honed talent shines through like a lighthouse… ably aided by feisty dancer-singer Suzan Manen… vibrantly abetted by winsome stage veteran Mary George… mellifluous mezzo-soprano voice of Cheah Siew Oui… tantalizing appeal of terpsichorean Zoë Christian… + more

Klue30/08/2001 KLue by Juliana Choo
YOU GO, SISTER!
many audience members guffawing and slapping their knees in uncontrolled mirth… priceless to see the usually regal Mother Superior (played excellently by Shanthini Venugopal) rolling on the floor, high on Feng Tao airplane glue… Mary George… stands out as the most fun… + more
 
PAST SHOWS
Played 24th August 2001 – 15th September 2001 at The Actors Studio, Bangsar
Directed by Richard Harding Gardner Produced by Chae Lian
Musical Direction by Holland Jancaitis Choreography by Joseph Gonzales
 
Nunsense For this musical comedy, American musical director, Holland Jancaitis was brought in. With choreography by Joseph Gonzales (Head of Dance, Akademi Seni Kebangsaan), it broke every then-existing box-office record by playing to 6,500 people over the course of three-and-a-half-weeks.
 

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