Interview: We'll Have Nun of It Writer, Director & Producer Rosie Dart

Interview: We’ll Have Nun of It Writer, Director & Producer Rosie Dart

As ground-breaking, ambitious folk-rock musical We’ll Have Nun of It enters its final week at The Other Palace Theatre, we caught up with writer, director & producer to talk about the show, inspirations, career advice, and Things To Do in London!

We’ll Have Nun of It | The Other Palace Theatre | Until 10 March | From £18

Interview: We'll Have Nun of It Writer, Director & Producer Rosie Dart 1

Hi Rosie, thanks for talking with us. Tell us about We’ll Have Nun of It – how did the show come about and what should audiences expect?

We’ll Have Nun of It is a brand new fully actor-muso musical following the story of four friends navigating their final year at St Anne’s convent school. Set in 1967, it explores themes of Irish emigration, sexuality and faith with a folk-rock soundtrack. The piece originally started out as a song cycle bringing together different songs connected by loose themes inspired by my grandma who came over to London during the Irish mass emigration wave of the 50s/60s and Finola Southgate’s (my co-writer) mum who attended convent school during the 70s. Together, Fin and I have been developing the show over the last five years or so, fleshing out character arcs and ensuring the story feels more concrete. Audiences should expect lots of creativity, amazing musicianship, catchy tunes and beautiful, layered female friendships.

Interview: We'll Have Nun of It Writer, Director & Producer Rosie Dart 2

What or who are your inspirations for making your work?

I have always loved actor-musician shows, they are so exciting and creative to me so I knew I wanted the show to incorporate instruments into the storytelling. For me, specific instruments also help to highlight certain narratives, for example our two Irish characters play violin and accordion between them which creates this beautiful, folky sound world, continuously reminding them of home. Shows like Once, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Amalie have been very inspiring in regards to the actor-muso and folk element. I also love the play Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour which has definitely been a big inspiration for the way the characters interact. Lastly, Spring Awakening has been a great guide for building up a contemporary score in conjunction with the period setting. It has also inspired our lyricism, use of imagery and general musical tone.

Interview: We'll Have Nun of It Writer, Director & Producer Rosie Dart 3

What advice would you give to those wanting to make new musicals?

I would say just go for it. It’s so easy to talk about doing it and never get around to it. Surround yourself with a keen, positive and supportive team, reach out to people, build a nice pitch deck, enter your work into smaller scratch nights and open mics. Anything you can do to make the project feel more real and tangible. Fin and I have learned so much from doing. This may mean the piece is a little imperfect for a while, but you’ll get great and helpful feedback and be able to develop and grow from there!

What are your favourite London haunts?

I always enjoy an afternoon at the National Theatre, browsing the bookshop, catching a show and getting a drink with friends. I also love the Bush Theatre. I love all of their work and they also have a beautiful library where you can sit and read or do some admin (or writing!). They also create themed cocktails for all of their shows!

Don’t miss We’ll Have Nun of It at The New Palace Theatre – book tickets here!

Production Photos: Ed Rees