Reviewed by Claire Giles
As a fan of the Sister Act movie I was unsure how this would work as a stage show so went along with an open mind. It was hard to not compare it to the movie but apart from the background storyline the stage show couldn’t be more different.
We watched the show at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford. I have been here many times before and it is my favourite theatre. The theatre itself is visually stunning both inside and out (especially at night when it is all lit up outside). The staff are always friendly and helpful. It is easily located in Bradford City Centre with plenty of payable car parking nearby.
The storyline, like the film, revolves around Deloris Van Cartier as wannabe lounge singer who dreams of being famous. She witnesses her married lover, Curtis, shoot one of his crew and is placed in a convent by the police to hide from Curtis who wants her dead. Being her sassy and diva self she finds it hard to fit in with a group of misfit nuns and especially clashes with the Mother Superior who doesn’t want her in the convent. Deloris ends up taking over the convent choir (who are appallingly bad!) and teaches them to sing and dance. They instantly become a major hit in the church and gain fame which blows Deloris cover and leads Curtis to her all accumulating in a gun fight in the church.
This is where the similarities to the film end. The stage show has a disco/soul music feel and some amazing songs and musical numbers.
Alexandra Burke brings a new interpretation to Deloris character compared to Whoopi Goldberg’s portrayal in the film. She plays the sassy diva character well and really brings the character alive. Her voice and range is simply stunning. She sings the fast and slow songs amazingly with real depth and feeling.
Karen Mann who played the part of Mother Superior was excellent and almost stole the show with her acting and singing especially her rendition of Haven’t Got a Prayer.
There was a comedic element throughout the show especially in the male characters which brought a whole new aspect to the story. I loved TJ, Joey and Pablo’s rendition of Lady In The Long Black Dress.
The storyline is lacking in places but the musical numbers more than make up for this. The show was directed by Craig Revel Horwood (who is well known as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing amongst his other accolades). The choreography was particularly good considering lots of the number involved dancing nuns wearing habits! A lot of the cast played their own instruments in the musical numbers which was amazing to watch but could be distracting at times.
The grand finale was incredible with nuns in sequin habits, disco balls, light up steps emerging from the upper stage balcony and confetti being fired into the audition whilst the whole cast performed a big musical number. Leaving the audience on a real high.
Tickets cost from £21 to £48 (booking fees may apply).
Sister Act is at the Alhambra Theatre in Bradford until 25 February 2017. For more information or to book tickets visit www.bradford-theatres.co.uk or call the box office on 01274 432000.
Alhambra Theatre, Morley Street, Bradford, BD7 1AJ | 01274 432000