Sister Act Review

Sister Act pulsates with life, joy and celebration from the very first moment the curtain is drawn. Deloris Van Cartier, a singer in a nightclub, is in trouble and needs a place to hide from Curtis Jackson (Ian Gareth-Jones) who is the villain of the piece complete with three hilarious henchmen. Deloris finds herself, unexpectedly, in a convent (Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrow) and makes the best of it. The show is about community and sisterhood, pulling together in the face of adversity and I think it’s one you must not miss.

Sister Act: Landi Oshinowo as Deloris Van-Cartier
Photo by Oliver Rosser @ Feast Creative

With a fresh adaptation of the well-known film, this production of Sister Act has a different musical score and script. Songs are inspired by Motown, soul and disco; the musical is joyous and uplifting in equal measure. Choreography is complex and masterfully executed by Alistair David.

West End star Landi Oshinowo is magnificent as Deloris, confident, witty, warm, sparkling with humanity and honesty. She has an impressive musical range and commands all of the audience’s attention whenever she is on stage. She sings about sisterhood in the headline song, Sister Act and later, the whole company of nuns amplify her sound. She has starred as the Empress of China in Aladdin as well as Shrek the Musical and Britain’s Got Talent on TV among many other shows.

Sister Act: Sue Cleaver from Coronation Street
Photo by Oliver Rosser @ Feast Creative

Kate Powell is hilarious as the Mother Superior, performing four songs and entreating her God in a deadpan manner to rescue the convent from the irresistible magnetism of Deloris. Sue Cleaver from Coronation Street will only play the role of Mother Superior in Sister Act from Thursday 14 to Saturday 16 March.

Alfie Parker is the slightly unprepossessing Policeman, Eddie Souther, who gives a stirling performance in Sister Act during his performance of ‘I could be that guy.’ Audiences always love an underdog, and he got one of the biggest cheers of the evening.

Sister Act: Alfie Parker as Eddie Souther
Photo by Mark Senior

Eloise Runnette, who plays Sister Mary Robert, is painfully shy at first and finds her voice with the help of Deloris. She performs a beautiful solo in the second half called: ‘The Life I never Led.’ She is a very young when she joins the convent and can’t help but ask the question: is she missing out on what secular life has to offer?

Phillip Arran plays Monsignor O’Hara, the priest who will do anything to keep his Church open and fill its coffers.

Direction is excellent by Bill Buckhurst who manages a cast of 21 singers and dancers. He has previously directed Sweeney Todd and a whole host of Shakespearean plays and you can sense his wealth of experience.

Sister Act: Company of nuns
Photo by Mark Senior

Sister Act is produced by a team led by Jamie Wilson and the film star Whoopi Goldberg. Complete with an orchestra of eight, the show features original music by Tony®, 8-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (of Disney’s Aladdin, Enchanted) and lyrics by Glenn Slater.

Costumes are breath-taking, designed by Morgan Large – think Freddie Mercury in a glittering final extravaganza.

An outstanding show, Sister Act warms the heart and lifts the soul. It invites us to embrace a world where good triumphs over evil, and the power of friendship makes the audience celebrate life in all its brilliant, dazzling exuberance.

This article was first published on Brighton Source, our going out Bible.