Palace Theatre, Manchester
Reviewed on Friday 28th July 2017 by Sebastian Singh
Photo Credit: Sister Act UK Tour
Based on the hit film starring Whoopi Goldberg, Sister Act follows Deloris Van Cartier, a diva who witnesses a murder, and ends up hiding in a convent for protection. While living with the nuns, she helps them to discover their voices, as well as finding her own: friendships, sisterhood and music combined- this is a brilliant musical!
This slick and fully energised production was directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood and he has done a fantastic job. It is clear he has focused on characterisation as the performances are detailed and full of emotion; his choreography is wonderful and really suits the style of show. The scenic design by Matthew Wright worked extremely well allowing for fluid scene changes and kept the energetic pace of the production alive.
Alexandra Burke is incredible in the lead role. Her acting suits the part incredibly well, bringing humour and warmth to the character that we all know and love. However, it is when she sings, she takes her performance to another level and took the whole audience “to heaven”. Her voice soared in her numbers, hitting every note with ease and packing every song full of soul.
The Mother Superior, played by Karen Mann, had great comic timing and showed a vulnerability beautifully in numbers such as “Here Within These Walls”. The priest Monsignor O’Hara played by Tim Maxwell-Clarke had character and flair and Sister Mary Robert played by Sarah Goggin had an incredible voice and the part seems a lot more fleshed out than the film version which was brilliant to see. The entire ensemble making up the nuns and gangsters had great energy and made me leave with a huge smile on my face.
What is even more impressive in this production is the high number of actor musicians. Most performers on stage play between one and three instruments and it is integrated beautifully into the production. Musicians are very passionate about what they do but are usually hidden from view in a pit, it was wonderful to see the acting and musicianship combined on stage.
This was a wonderful all-round production that was thoroughly entertaining.
This production is touring until 3rd September 2017.