Brilliantly done… most inventive.
— Sister Wendy Beckett

Act One

In a monastery chapel in Norfolk, a group of nuns sing in praise of their neighbour, Sister Wendy Beckett (Second to None). Appearing in her caravan, Sister Wendy introduces herself and the artists she loves (A Passion for Poussin). Sister Anna-Maria, a novice, arrives with the post, including a letter from Daniel, a TV producer, offering Sister Wendy help with a dilemma (Don’t Hide Your Light). Sister Wendy reveals that she has been asked by the BBC to present a TV series, but asks Sister Anna-Maria to keep the project a secret from their reverend mother. In Oxford, Daniel leaves his office in charge of his new work experience girl Pammy, while back in Norfolk, Sister Wendy and Sister Anna-Maria go to chapel (Black and White) where Mother Ruth concedes that the series could benefit all the sisters and allows the plans to go ahead on the condition that Sister Wendy takes care of her failing health. The next day, perplexed by the intricacies of art history, Pammy and Sister Anna-Maria ask Daniel and Sister Wendy to explain (Art is Meant for Everyone). Daniel receives word that the filming can go ahead and Sister Wendy starts her odyssey around Britain by bringing a biblical tale to life (Salome and St. John). Despite the excitement of making the series, she returns to her life of seclusion, receiving a rare visit from her elderly and ailing cousin. The pair reminisce on their childhood, (Closer Than Sisters), before Daniel invites Sister Wendy to make another series, this time touring around Europe. In Florence, Sister Wendy comes face to face with a renaissance icon (Botticelli’s Birth of Venus). Daniel treats her to a trip to Paris to celebrate the end of her tour. On a visit to a café, the pair are besieged by tourists and fans, determined to praise their favourite art nun superstar (Viva Sister Wendy!) upon the news that the BBC are set to syndicate Sister Wendy’s programmes across the world.

Act Two

Some months have passed when Sister Wendy attends the launch for her new book at Dulwich Picture Gallery and is harangued by the press (A Minor Celebrity). Sister Wendy is surprised by the arrival of her sister, Penelope, who has travelled from South Africa to see her. They share an awkward reunion with Penelope reflecting on the differences between them (Faded Dreams) and look at a painting together (Art of Darkness) before they part for the last time. Daniel gives Pammy a pair of pearl earrings and thanks her for inspiring his next and most ambitious venture to date, a trip to the USA, while Sister Wendy returns to obscurity once again, troubled by the news that her cousin is critically ill. Although she previously resolved not to make any more TV shows, she soon arrives in America and is met at the airport by her worst nightmare, a group of evangelical singing nuns (Simple Love). Daniel eventually rescues her and she starts filming, with a reflection on the perils of fame inspired by Andy Warhol and his Marilyns (The Campbell’s Can Soup-er Man). Later that week, Sister Wendy is a special guest of chat show hostess Sugar Hill (Catch a Star!), who finds she may have met her match after a war of words between the two women. Exhausted and longing to return to her solitary life, Sister Wendy prays (Porcelain) as she prepares to talk about Edward Hopper’s ‘icon of loneliness’ (Nighthawks). Some time later, Daniel is in his office, packing. Pammy arrives and he explains that the USA trip was brought to a premature end by Sister Wendy being taken gravely ill. Pammy confronts Daniel and leaves. Daniel calls Mother Ruth, who tells him that their previous arrangement has come to an end and they both consider their part in Sister Wendy’s rise and fall (Black and White – Reprise). Pammy starts work as a tour guide at Dulwich Picture Gallery, convincing the public that anyone can understand art, if only they learn to look (Art is Meant for Everyone – Reprise). Back in the caravan, Sister Wendy wakes for the first time in weeks. Sister Anna-Maria leaves her bedside as she looks back on her travels one last time and bids the outside world farewell (Lit Up by the Wonder).

To read the full script, please contact Marcus Reeves at the email address below.