A decade before The Calendar Girls were building self confidence by taking off their clothes, Amy Rosenthal’s Nancy was doing it.
A fairly lightweight story is helped along by two strong lead performances. Sue Preston as Nancy, in her own words is too sad to move but consoles herself with eating pickled onions and chocolate. Her completely unsympathetic sister Nina played by Lyn Armstrong talks constantly about her job or helpful friend Max. Half way through the play there is a complete role reversal as becoming a life art model transforms depressed Nancy into one of those annoying, happy all the time people! Meanwhile Nina is unsettled by her sister’s change, mainly since it forces her to confront an uncomfortable past.
The action flits between the sisters’ flat, the art studio and a National Art Gallery cafe. The stage is cleverly split in two so the play is almost continuous with no interruption between scenes.
David Cheetham plays the ladies man, art teacher, Philip. He is in a love triangle with former life model Zelda and student Jose. Its Nancy however who breaks his artistic drought and he somehow manages not to jump into bed with her.
Max is well played by Graham Millar. He is rather unfairly around to put up shelves or look after Nancy with a hope of getting close to a disinterested Nina.
There is support from Jessica Widdowson, Ann O’Connell, Daniel Pout, Sian Butler-Walsh, Callum Lloyd Thomas and Brenda Bell.