Bitesize Festival preview: Run to the Nuns

Where: Riverside Studios

When: 13-16 Jul

Ticket link:

Estelle Homerstone’s production of new musical Run to the Nuns is written, directed, and performed by a neurodiverse and queer company.

Read on to find out more about the show, which is written by Jenette Meehan, composed by Rosa Lukacs, and directed by Sophia Hail.

Promotional image for Run to the Nuns

You’re part of the Bitesize Festival at the Riverside Studios. It’s brought some good shows to our attention in previous years – are you excited about it?

We are very excited about the upcoming performances of Run to the Nuns at Riverside Studios this July.

Given that this show in its life so far has been performed in tents that, despite being big and lovely, are in-fact tents, means we cannot WAIT to perform this in a traditional theatre.

The Riverside team and facilities are absolutely amazing; it’s such an exciting venue and Phoebe Stringer the programmer and Bitesize Producer is already giving all of us artists so much love and support.

The other shows and companies in the festival are brilliant – the level and variety of talent is something that audiences should be VERY excited about.

We are excited to continue Riverside’s journey in expanding its demographic of programming, audiences and communities they are engaging with, and having met many of the other creatives across the festival they are winning!

Tell me a bit about Cressida’s Convent, “rooted in feminism, revolution and comedy”. What should audiences expect, and which historical figures would be at home there?

Cressida’s Convent is where we find the characters in our story; an old finishing school run by Nuns which has now been converted (!) into a sexual health clinic for women, non-binary and trans people. It serves individuals as a place of care, treatment and refuge – whatever that means to them.

The original concept of the show stemmed from the interest in looking at how a ‘modern nunnery’ would function today completely secularly.

By this, I imagined an incredibly accepting, activist and queer space for women and not-men to exist outside of the hetereonormative and patriarchal modes of society.

I also had a burning interest in the extent of gayness that must be going down in so many sites of female-only worship…….!

Audiences should expect to find a loving and thrilling array of characters in this institution, to see a lot of the devil’s lettuce being smoked,  and begin to wonder where the spaces for community sites for queer people are in the world of medicine and healthcare, and our lives today.

Historical figures that you would expect to find here include Florence Nightingale, Lily Savage, Kathy Burke, all and any of Henry V|||’s wives (specifically Anne B), and Jo Brand (comedian, icon and ex-nurse – we need her!). 

This is a musical which was last seen at the Brighton Fringe earlier this year. How was it received there?

Our audiences at Brighton Fringe were divine and it was the perfect place for a queer show like this. The festival itself is full of love and joy, which our show functions on completely.

Our flyerers found very quickly that the tag line “Qtaglineical set in a nunnery?” was a great sell, so we had a big audience who came based on hearing about the show over our time there, and we received amazing feedback.

To know that the show touched people is all we can ask for. We were asked more than once whether there is a cast album yet and to that I can simply say……. watch this space!

What’s next for the show and for you as creatives?

What’s next? Conquering the world of course! No, but actually, for this show we want to feel the response from the London audiences and  then enter into a period of development.

We want to be able to work with some very exciting collaborators and creatives, to engage with real people in the communities we are exploring and the give the team and the show the time and ease it deserves before properly infiltrating the commercial sector.

We are aiming for a 2025 regional tour with a returning London run to follow this.