Sister Act – UK Tour

Words by Gemma English

Following its success last year, Sister Act directed by Craig Revel Horwood and starring Alexander Burke has been taken on tour by Curve Leicester.

Sister Act is based on the 1992 hit film of the same name. Set in Philadelphia in the late 1970s, Sister Act follows the story of Delores – A morally dubious, aspiring singer on the soul club scene as she hides out in a convent for her own safety after witnessing a murder. XFactor winner Alexander Burke stars as the lead, Delores Van Cartier alongside talent such as Karen Mann as Mother Superior, Aaron Lee Lambert as Curtis, Joe Vetch as Eddie and Alice Stokoe as Sister Mary Robert.

For fans of the film, Whoopi Goldberg as Delores has some sassy attitude to live up to but Burke doesn’t disappoint as she hits the audience with the pure power in her voice and some well timed one liners. The musical score is a combination of funky soul – with nods to likes of Saturday Night Fever, Donna Summer and even Sugar Hill Gang – and Gospel style choral hymns. The blend from the start and the portrayal of the transition from an ill-tuned rabble of nuns to a holy yet funky choir is fantastically portrayed by the convent section of the cast and gives a feel good vibe to the whole performance. 

In most of the musical numbers, the cast accompany their singing with on stage instruments adding to the feel for the soul clubs Delores wants to star in. The cast pull this off with ease to the extent that you hardly notice their multi-tasking. A story of transition each member of the cast shows their own journey throughout the show with individual moments of realisation for many of the characters. Personal highlight being Sister Mary Robert (Alice Stokoe) finding her voice and Eddie (Joe Vetch) finding his soul during his performance of “That Guy”.

With such a big voice on stage and the rest of the cast shining out as they come out of their shells, lots of visual comedy keeps the audience laughing along throughout the show. In essence Sister Act is a comedy and it certainly didn’t disappoint on that score. The trio of gangsters lead with the funnies throughout, in particular Sandy Grigelis has us in stitches as TJ, the bumbling gangster. Not to be outdone, Susannah Van Den Berg tickles the audience as the loud and quirky Sister Mary Patrick – a true to the original film representation of the character.

Without putting a 90 denier clad foot wrong, Burke and company shone as bright as their sequin clad habits throughout the performance. The finale, with disco balls, glitz and Dona Summeresque dress was a fabulously catchy performance that had the audience up on their feet in praise of the show. If you are looking for a funky show to hit you right in the feel goods then Sister Act may well be the answer your prayers.

Sister Act is still touring the UK so make sure you grab your tickets to avoid missing out!

About Author /

Matthew has been writing for the past 5 years about music, sports and movies and has now finally got his chance to write about theatre. Having previously worked for the likes of Kerrang and Uncut, as well as previously having a radio show for 6 Towns, he has interviewed hundreds of bands throughout his career.

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