Louise Gold starred as Sister Mary Amnesia at The Fortune Theatre, which has a disused Public Right of Way running through its auditorium and across the stage, opened 23 March 1987 (previews from 18 March). It was still running in January 1988, but had ended by February 1988 – Louise Gold’s showstopping may be due as much to her skills as a puppeteer as to her monumental vocals. As Louise herself commented (referring to being an actress cum puppeteer):

 "That's one of the few shows where the two can be combined." Louise Gold,



Original London Cast

Sister Mary Regina - Honour Blackman

Sister Mary Hubert - Pip Hinton

Sister Robert Anne - Anna Sharkey

Sister Mary Amnesia - Louise Gold

Sister Mary Leo - Bronwen Stanway



Understudy for: Ms Sharkey & Ms Stanway – Anna Rees

Understudy for: Ms Blackman, Ms Hinton & Ms Gold -  Joyce Rae


Later London Cast


Sister Mary Regina – Maxine Audley

Sister Robert Anne – Roni Page

Sister Mary Hubert - Pip Hinton

Sister Mary Amnesia - Louise Gold

Sister Mary Leo - Bronwen Stanway

Sister Mary Go-Fer – Anna Rees



Understudy for: Ms Page & Ms Stanway – Anna Rees

Understudy for: Ms Audley, Ms Hinton & Ms Gold -  Joyce Rae


Production Team

Book, Music & Lyrics - Dan Goggin

Original Production(s) – 1984, The Duplex Nightspot, Greenwich Village, and, 12 December 1985, Off Broadway Cherry Lane Theatre, with Semina De Laurentis as Sister Mary Amnesia

Director - Richard Digby Day

Choreographer - Stephanie Carter

Musical Director - Barrie Bignold

Designer - Lee Dean

Lighting Director - David Whitehead

Producer - Ian Liston for Hiss & Boo Productions Ltd / Funny Habits

Stage Manager – Paul Bennett

ASM – Pauline Miller-Judd and Anna Rees


Naturally Ms Gold is also featured on the Original London Cast album of Nunsense, see Nunsense (recording)


The then cast members Maxine Audley, Louise Gold, Pip Hinton, Anna Rees, and Bronwen Stanway may have represented the show by taking part in Thing A Thon .

This production of Nunsense received the 1986 Outer Critic’s Circle Award for ‘Best Musical’.


About eleven and a half years earlier Richard Digby Day had directed Louise Gold in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (York Production)

Maxine Audley may have previously appeared in Will-Aid

A dozen years later, Louise Gold returned to The Fortune Theatre to star in 110 In The Shade, and a further seven years later in a gala called  Happily Ever After, and two years after that in Flaunt It 2008.

Nunsense is not the only religious musical to have had one of it’s major original American productions at The Cherry Lane Theatre, Godspell premiered there, before it’s Broadway premier at the Broadhurst Theatre, where the original production of 110 In The Shade premiered.

It is perhaps worth noting that The Fortune Theatre had (or possibly has) public right of way running through the auditorium and across the stage.

Maxine Audley  has had a long acting career notable in both professional and amateur circles. The latter includes appearing at Unity Theatre during WWII, so it is quite likely that she may have crossed paths with Louise Gold’s mother (who was after all one of that theatre group’s leading lights at that time).

One of Louise Gold’s two outstanding solos in the show involved her singing a spoof Country And Western song, I Could’ve Gone To Nashville, co-incidentally, seven years later she was awarded The Freedom Of The City Of Memphis Tennessee, see Noel/Cole: Let’s Do It.

Louise Gold had previously appeared on stage in a play that also commented on Catholicism, namely Once A Catholic. She has gone on to appear another musical that commented on the matter, namely Next Door’s Baby.

Honour Blackman appeared on television in the documentary ITV’s 50 Greatest Shows.

Fifteen years after puppeteering Sister Marionette in Nunsense, at long last actress-cum-puppeteer Louise Gold once again combined Musicals and puppetry in her own cabaret act LOUISE GOLD ... By Appointment. 

Many of the audience and critics at Nunsense seem to have been impressed by Louise Gold’s skill as a puppeteer, although I’m not sure if Robin Ray appreciated that the actress-cum-puppeteer might welcome an opportunity to combine both strands of her performing career.


Critics Comments

 "The one compensation was a performance by Louise Gold, who deserved far, far better." Mary Harron, OBSERVER, 29 March 1987

 "Best is a duet between Sister Amnesia and a gravel-voiced puppet called Sister Marianette" Jim Hiley, THE LISTENER, 2 April 1987

 "Louise Gold - is a showstopper" Rosalie Horner, DAILY EXPRESS, 24 March 1987

 "Some nice chirpy performers including Louise Gold and Honor Blackman are in it-presumably for their sins." Kenneth Hurren, MAIL ON SUNDAY, 29 March 1987

 "Louise Gold - belts out 'I could've gone to Nashville' and 'So you want to be a nun' in true showstopping style. I am certain we'll be seeing and hearing her in the future musicals - is obviously a very gifted entertainer" -Sue Jameson, LONDON BROADCASTING, 24 March 1987

 “The surviving nuns stage a benefit to raise the necessary cash. They try their hand at ventriloquism, and impressions, do bits of ballet, sing dreadful songs, tell awful jokes, and wallop out a spot of tap – in fact anything the gullible cast can be cajoled or bullied into attempting.” Robin Ray, PUNCH, 8 April 1987

 "Louise Gold is almost unforgettable as Sister Mary Amnesia." Mark Sanderson, TIME OUT, 1 April 1987

 “Louise Gold has a few golden moments as Sister Amnesia, but the show is mostly forgettable” Mark Shenton, PLAYS INTERNATIONAL, May 1987

 “Apart from the admirable Sisters Blackman and Hinton, Sisters Anna Sharkey, Louise Gold and Bronwen Stanway enter vivaciously into the silly simple-hearted spirit of an immaculately misconceived exercise in not so much bad as botched taste.” Eric Shorter, DAILY TELEGRAPH, 23 March 1987.

 “Louise Gold, as a nun who lost her memory and took Holy Orders when a crucifix fell on her head, recovers well when she discovers she was once a country and western singer.” Milton Shulman, LONDON EVENING  STANDARD, 24 March 1987

 "Louise Gold's duet with a nun puppet deservedly stops the show - although sadly not permanently" Mark Steyn, THE INDEPENDENT, 25 March 1987

 “The Fortune could prove a reassuring memory of home for American tourists this summer, and they will particularly admire the performance of Louise Gold as Sister Mary Amnesia which brings to the show an air of detached bemusement which suits it so well.” Anthony Thorncroft, PLAYS AND PLAYERS, May 1987

 "My admiration for each of the five leading ladies doing this penance is unswerving. Each has a moment of individual glory up there on the stage - Miss Louise Gold with a wayward puppet and elusive memory." Jack Tinker, DAILY MAIL,24 March 1987


Links about Nunsense (Stage Production)

Muppet Central/Tibby's Bowl Interview with Louise Gold

 Hiss And Boo Theatre Company:


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