There is no disputing the fact that Sister Act is a demanding and relentless show to put on successfully. It not only requires power, focus and finesse but also an uncompromised energy.
This production has it all - in huge great Communion wine glass-fulls, and director Jamie Harris and his team should be remarkably proud of this extravaganza.
For those unfamiliar, Sister Act tells the hilarious story of Deloris Van Cartier, a disco diva whose life takes a bizarre twist of events upon witnessing a murder. Under protective custody, she is hidden in the most bizarre of places – a convent!
Disguised as a nun and under the beady eye of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices in a story that never takes itself too seriously and, as a result, is a pleasure to watch.
Although occasional diction is lost due to the use of accents, the cast is unarguably brilliant.
Deloris (Natasha Connor) is a joy to watch blossom over time, Mother Superior (Jeannine Ridha) is awesome as she spends the majority of the show being largely-unimpressed by Deloris’ antics, and Curtis (Chris Leeworthy) is villainously lovable matched with his three hilarious and well-portrayed stooges (Derek Smith, James Burgess and Adam Barter).
A huge mention must also go to the stunning Sister Mary Robert (Molly-Mae McCutcheon) who, at the age of just 13, is nothing less than incredible.
Musically, Sister Act shines. Majorly. ‘When I Find My Baby’ is fantastic, ‘I Could Be That Guy’ is fun-lovingly clever, and ‘Raise Your Voice’ is so damned powerful that you spend the remainder of the show longing for more of the nuns! Honestly – they’re just the most fun, soul-filled, energetic chorus I’ve ever seen on this stage.
The beautifully balanced and lively nine-piece band are led smoothly by the highly experienced Keith Weston and, although I tend to expect nothing less than perfection from him, I was still taken very much aback by the performance. From the sharp brassy stabs to the low bass riffs, they deliver the show’s score at the highest of standards – huge credit must go to the rigidity that they have developed in such a short space of time with such a challenging score.
At times, the set pieces are simply outstanding but then overly minimalistic the next. The cathedral is mind-blowingly immersive with fine attention to detail and transitions are slick and relatively seamless (this doesn’t come easily).
Every single team and department has worked tirelessly to bring this production together and it deserves nothing but major success.
Well done to all involved – fabulous, baby!