alphabetical author index

Once a Catholic

  • Mary O'Malley
  • Full Length Play, Comedy, 1950s
  • 4M, 10F
  • ISBN: 9780906399019

"Sharp and evocative...refreshing play that will be a source of much merriment among the devout and lapsed."

Plays and Players

  • Full Length Play
  • Comedy

  • Time Period: 1950s
  • Set Requirements: Unit Set/Multiple Settings

  • Accolades:
  • Winner! 1978-1979 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize in Playwriting
This extremely funny comedy based on the author's school days in a London convent does not necessarily finish the title phrase with "always a Catholic." Rather, this play, a celebrated prize-winner and a critical success, is about the resilience of children to survive in spite of, not because of, their upbringing and indoctrination.

All the girls in Class 5A are called Mary (apart from one Maria). One, an innocent who has not yet learned the gentle art of deception, finds herself the perpetual scapegoat. The author concentrates principally on the amusing ways the girls deal with the dogma constantly pumped into them. Hilarious moments have a more serious underlying theme: how true does much of this remain today?

REVIEWS:

"Sharp and evocative...refreshing play that will be a source of much merriment among the devout and lapsed."

 Plays and Players

Premiere Production: Once a Catholic was first presented at the Royal Court Theatre, London, August 19, 1977.
  • Casting: 4M, 10F
  • Casting Attributes: Expandable casting

  • MOTHER PETER - a tall, stout, middle-aged Irish teaching nun
    MOTHER BASIL - a short, fat, elderly Irish teaching nun
    MOTHER THOMAS AQUINAS - a tall, thin, fairly young and very refined Irish nun. Headmistress of the Convent of Our Lady of Fatima.
    MARY MOONEY - a 5th former. She is plain and dowdy and has ginger hair, freckles and a good soprano singing voice
    MARY McGINTY - a well developed, pretty, blonde 5th former
    MARY GALLAGHER - a sensible, attractive, dark haired 5th former
    FATHER MULLARKEY - an Irish Priest
    MR. EMANUELLI - a very old Music Master with a foreign accent. He has long, white hair, a bandage on one leg, a slipper on one foot, two walking sticks and a baritone voice
    DEREK - a tall, thin Teddy Boy in his late teens
    CUTHBERT - a Catholic 6th former with a fairly bad case of acne

    Pupils of Form 5A
    MARY O'GRADY - a pretty girl
    MARY HENNESSY - a fat girl
    MARY MURPHY - a very small girl
    MARY FLANAGAN - a brainy girl
  • Name Price
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    This extremely funny comedy based on the author's school days in a London convent does not necessarily finish the title phrase with "always a Catholic." Rather, this play, a celebrated prize-winner and a critical success, is about the resilience of children to survive in spite of, not because of, their upbringing and indoctrination.

    All the girls in Class 5A are called Mary (apart from one Maria). One, an innocent who has not yet learned the gentle art of deception, finds herself the perpetual scapegoat. The author concentrates principally on the amusing ways the girls deal with the dogma constantly pumped into them. Hilarious moments have a more serious underlying theme: how true does much of this remain today?

    $24.95