Review: And Then There Were Nuns

Tom Bevan 25 November 2015

It’s a chilly and wet Tuesday evening. I’ve had a fairly mediocre day, studying and eating leftover spaghetti while battling a cough and sore throat. It’s in this context that I step into New Cellars, Pembroke College, for the opening night of And Then There Were Nuns, self-described as a ‘murder mystery and sketch show in one’. Immediately, a well-dressed man shows us to our seats, while another, with the poshest of accents, offers us drinks. A lot of drinks. There’s gin and tonic, elderflower this and apple that. On the Pembroke Players website, the advertisement for the show notes ‘THERE WILL BE LOTS OF FREE COCKTAILS’. They don’t disappoint.

Shortly after 9.30pm the show gets underway and the same two gentlemen who guided us to our seats and served cocktails are revealed to be two-thirds of the show. For the next hour and a quarter, the cast, comprised of Will Dalrymple, Robert Eyers and Jamie Fenton, present a varied array of skits, each a clue towards solving the show’s murder mystery premise.

The skits varied in length and quality but among them were some laugh-out-loud gems. A small content warning should probably have been included with the show’s marketing however as no topic remained off limits. Gays, ethnic minorities and awkward sex noises all featured and the cast even managed a nod to David Starkey and the recent controversy regarding his involvement in the ‘Dear World’ Cambridge fundraising campaign. A warning: some of the jokes are definitely not for the conservative faint-hearted.

While advertised as both a murder mystery and sketch show, And Then There Were Nuns was definitely a lot more of the latter. Sometimes it felt as if the murder mystery was lost among the various sketches and it was only at the very end that the clues were quite abruptly tied together. But this is a minor criticism. The cast worked extremely well together and a highlight was how they incorporated the audience into their show. During a brief interval, the cast remained to top up cocktails and sing, literally, to the audience.

And Then There Were Nuns is performing nightly until Saturday.. For £6 it’s an affordable way to take an evening off and forget about the cold and wet. Oh and did I mention the free drinks? They say that laughter is the best medicine. I left definitely happier, tipsier and with less of that ridiculous cough I’d been battling all day.