Sister Act The Musical – Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

E book: Cheri Steinkellner and Invoice Steinkellner

Music: Alan Menken

Lyrics: Glenn Slater

Director: Invoice Buckhurst

Based mostly on the 1992 movie of the identical identify, Sister Act is a high-octane enjoyable evening out.

This revival has had a barely chequered profession, with growth interrupted by the closure of theatres throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, however it has roared again for this tour that extends nicely into subsequent 12 months.

It’s Christmas Eve, 1977. The Convent of the Sisters of Perpetual Sorrow is falling into disrepair and being circled by property builders. With a tiny congregation on the midnight mass, it appears the conservative order could nicely not survive. In the meantime, aspiring nightclub singer, Deloris Van Cartier, inadvertently witnesses her lowlife boyfriend, Curtis, shoot an informant gang member. She races to the police station the place ‘Regular’ Eddie – who had an enormous crush on Deloris in highschool – takes the choice to cover her within the convent. At first, Deloris and the nuns are like chalk and cheese – the last word tradition conflict – however a bond develops as she updates their singing, introducing the novel idea of singing in tune, bringing again audiences congregations and elevating cash for the restoration fund.

However all shouldn’t be sweetness and light-weight on the convent. Mom Superior is resistant to vary and the nuns’ new-found fame results in Curtis and his goons discovering out the place Deloris is holed up.

The soundtrack to the musical is closely influenced by the phenomenon of disco within the late Nineteen Seventies. Doug Besterman’s orchestrations and Alistair David’s choreography stay trustworthy to the texture of the last decade that style forgot, main many viewers members to present wry smiles in response to the glitter and flares onstage. There’s a very humorous homage to The Floaters and Float On.

As Deloris, Landi Oshinowo is loud, brash and suitably low cost. She sweeps into the convent just like the proverbial unstoppable pressure, opening the eyes of the sisters to how issues may very well be completely different. At press evening, Mom Superior was performed by Lori Haley Fox, displaying her inner battle as Deloris appears to take over. Her music within the second half, I Haven’t Bought a Prayer, sums up her disquiet because the convent modifications. The younger postulant, Sister Mary Robert, is dropped at us by Lizzie Bea, and her journey is probably essentially the most attention-grabbing as she questions her religion and life decisions, with a show-stopping rendition of The Life I By no means Led – she additionally has an impressive voice, as soon as Sister Mary Robert has developed the arrogance to make use of it.

There are many humorous moments, typically coming from the good bodily comedy of Isabel Canning as Sister Mary Patrick – think about Joyce Grenfell singing disco … in a behavior. Within the music and dance items, it turns into unattainable to take one’s eyes off her gawky awkwardness. And Alfie Parker as Regular Eddie’s rendition of Fabulous Child! must be seen to be believed.

Nevertheless, there’s no disguising that the plot is skinny and the opposite characters two-dimensional caricatures, offering virtually pantomimic assist to the principals. Even so, there’s a powerful message of sisterhood, togetherness and mutual assist underlying the present resulting in the triumphal finale.

The entire is nice enjoyable – there’s nostalgia aplenty and a few cracking songs, voices and choreography. And the unstated message of power by way of range is welcome in these darkish days. Settle for it for what it’s and also you’ll have a good time.

Runs till 14 October 2023 and on tour

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