The tense psychological drama (based on real life events) of John Pielmeier’s ‘Agnes Of God’ comes to Bolton Little Theatre’s Forge Theatre next week.
Glenn Robinson directs two of BLT’s most experienced actresses – June Grice and Carol Butler - and a newcomer – Emma Toms – in this powerful piece of theatre. The actual story took place in 1976 in New York and saw a novice nun giving birth in her convent cell and then apparently killing the baby.
John Pielmeier’s gripping adaptation of those events takes the audience through the investigation into the incident by the Court appointed psychiatrist looking for the truth and the Mother Superior who wants to protect the young ‘Agnes’.
“Although set in a world of religion and faith, it isn’t really just about those things alone,” says Glenn, “it’s about the investigation of a serious crime and the battle between two strong willed women trying to do what they think best.”
The title of the play itself is intended as a pun on the Latin phrase ‘Agnus Dei’ or ‘Lamb of God’ which Christians may recognise as a prayer within the normal Sunday church service, although Agnes’s Mother Superior is determined that she will not become the sacrificial lamb of the prayer.
June Grice plays the Psychiatrist ‘Dr. Livingstone’ sent to the convent to investigate the baby’s death and to determine ‘Agnes’s sanity. “It’s a ‘play of the mind’ really,” she notes, “exploring the truth behind ‘Agnes’s’ claims – and she is open to the notion that someone other than ‘Agnes’ may have killed the baby and is seeking an alternative logical explanation.”
Carol Butler plays ‘Mother Miriam Ruth’ the Mother Superior of the convent. “Ultimately she’s highly protective of ‘Agnes’ and fears destroying her fragile spirit,” says Carol, “saying at one point ‘“I don’t want that mind cut open’”.
Newcomer Emma Toms plays the title role of ‘Agnes’ the young novice. “I couldn’t hope for a better introduction to BLT,” says Emma, “and I’ve really enjoyed playing the innocent ‘Agnes’ – who manages to become pregnant in a convent devoid of men!”
“I’ve been very fortunate to have such excellent actresses for this production,” adds Glenn, “not least in the beautiful voice of Emma. Hearing her sing Ave Maria, and Pie Jesu is worth the ticket money on its own!
Agnes Of God runs from Saturday 12th – Saturday 19th including a matinee on Saturday 19th March 2018 at 7.30. Call the box office on 01204 524469 or book on line via the BLT website www.boltonlittletheatre.co.uk