On the 29th June 2022 I attended a performance of sister act the musical at the Palace theatre, Manchester. Where do I start, this musical was absolutely fabulous (no pun intended), while being pushed back numerous times because of the pandemic, it was an utter delight to be able to finally see a production of sister act hit the stage again.
Based of the original film, sister act the musical tells the story of a singer ‘Deloris van Cartier’. The show starts as she is performing her title song ‘ fabulous baby’ before she is quickly forced to go into hiding after she suddenly becomes wanted by criminals after incidentally witnessing a murder! She ends up hiding in a convent, not long after her arrival, her high enthusiasm and energy soon takes an influence on the other nuns as she goes against traditional practices. Raising everyone’s spirits and voice!
We see a range of different emotions from the other nuns, as some including ‘sister Mary Patrick’ leaving you feeling a sense of guilt for her character as all she wants to do is experience what life would be like if she didn’t live in the convent, almost aspiring to live like ‘Deloris’. Whereas ‘Mother superior’ has a more negative view towards ‘Deloris’ as she believes the convent should keep tradition and Deloris’ influence could be harming the nuns. 4.5/5 stars
Production & Music Score
This production produced at the Leicester curve, really took the ‘love’ and ‘joy’ from the original movies starring ‘Whoopi Goldberg’, and added a whole bunch of fun, laughter and enjoyment with it’s theatre magic. Although not having the same music score as the original film, the songs featured music by ‘Alan Menken’ and lyrics by ‘Glenn Slater’ and they were just pure happiness to listen too. They really just add to the amazing story written by ‘Cheri & Bill Steinkellner’, they are so catchy, you are guaranteed to have at least one stuck in your head by the end of the show!
This production had most of the original Broadway score however songs such as ‘How I got the calling’, ‘Do the sacred mass’, ‘Here within these walls- reprise’ have been removed. Whereas, additional songs such as ‘Its good to be a nun’, ‘I haven’t got a prayer’, ‘Raise your voice- reprise’ have been added. 4/5 stars
Cast of Sister act the musical Tour
The cast were absolutely outstanding, with Sandra Marvin playing ‘Deloris van Cartier’ she really took the legacy ‘Whoopi Goldberg (who played her in the movie)’ had left, but added her own take on the role she was perfect and was so entertaining to listen too and watch. Mother Superior was played by the ‘Shrek 2’ star Jennifer Saunders, she really helped bring her character to life as mother superior is usually rather a dull character, however Jennifer put a very well done comedic twist witch left the audience bursting with laughter.
Other well known stars such as; Keala Settle (Sister Mary Patrick) , Lesley Joseph (Sister Mary Lazarus), Clive Rowe (Eddie Souther), Jeremy Secomb (Curtis) , Graham Macduff (Monsignor O’hara), Tricia Deighton (Sister Mary Theresa), Lori Haley Fox (Sister Mary Martin of Tours) and the rest of the ensemble, were also absolutely fantastic and brought the show to life in such a magical, comedic way. As well as the great choreography by Alistair David.
Personally the star of the show for me was Lizzie Bee in the role of ‘Sister Mary Patrick’ as she really sold her role as humorous but also shared innocence of which her character holds. Her vocals were out of this world, the song ‘The life I never led’ really showcased her incomparable vocals. 5/5 stars!
The producers (Jamie Wilson ,Whoopi Goldberg, Kevin Mccollum, Robbie Wilson, Gavin Kalin productions, Curve) and director (Bill Bukhurst) have done an incredible job with the show, it’s so enjoyable and is a ‘beacon of joy’ to watch. 5/5 stars
The set by (Morgan Large) and lighting by (Tim Mitchell) was visually impeccable you really felt as though you were in a real church and then when the set changed to other locations you really felt as though the characters had really moved there. The lighting was so fun and colourful it added so much liveliness to the show. The costumes designed by Morgan Large were also so colourful and fun to look at from glittery wimples to a glittery police uniform they were great. 4.5/5 stars
I couldn’t recommend this show enough, its definitely everyone from a musical lover or a lover of the film will enjoy or even just people looking for a fun night out. You honestly do not want to miss it, you may want to catch it at the Eventim Apollo in London starring Beverly Knight as ‘Deloris’ or on tour around the UK. This show is definitely 5/5 stars!