7th October 2017
Assembly Rooms Bolsover
Type of Production
Author: Joyce Handbury
Sister Act, the musical, is based on the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg film comedy of the same name. It tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier an aspiring disco diva in the 1970’s. After witnessing her gangster boyfriend, Curtis, commit a murder she is put in protective custody in a convent which is facing closure. Finding this new ‘lifestyle’ difficult she eventually gets involved with the convent choir and finds friendships and sisterhood that she has never known before.
Deloris is the mainstay of the show, rarely off stage and going against the norm one has come to expect for this role, was played by a white peformer, Sarah Coupe. In her first appearance with the group she gave an absolutely first class performance. She was sexy and seductive in the opening scenes and coped beautifully with the complexities of the character. Both her singing and acting skills were superb and together with her excellent comic timing this was indeed a truly terrific portrayal. I loved the interpretation of Mother Superior by Louise Sutton. She had just the right amount of idealistic authority but became completely exasperated by the situation and her singing of ‘I Haven’t Got A Prayer‘ was delivered with such feeling, I loved her performance. Chrissy Smith was great as the somewhat surly Sister Mary Lazarus and her transformation into a ‘rapper’ was hilarious. Michelle Shaw excelled as the excitable and over enthusiastic Sister Mary Patrick and Tara Foster captured the innocence, curiosity, courage and sweetness of Sister Mary Robert to perfection. Nicky Constable, as Curtis, was every inch the villain of the piece, a most impressive performance and his three sidekicks Dale Shaw, TJ, Chris Nussey, Joey and Derrick Hullett, Pablo were so funny especially in the song and dance routine, ‘Lady in the Long Black Dress’. Eddie, the police officer in love with Deloris, was sympathetically and well played by Chris Peck and his quick sequence of costume changes during ‘I Could be That Guy’ was splendidly achieved. Istvan Koszegi brought a rather mischievous touch to the role of Monsignor O’Hara and great support came from Kayleigh Constable as Tina, Laura Hulett as Michelle, Barbara Booth as Sister Mary Martin-of-Tours and Rachel Johnson as Sister Mary Theresa. After the initial piercing and painful singing by the Nuns they definitely improved and were then in fine voice. The ensemble too, gave their all in the various roles they played.
This is a very bitty show with fourteen scenes in Act 1 and eleven in Act 2 which is an immense challenge when you have such a small stage but the extremely innovative and creative set designed, constructed and painted totally in-house coped with this admirably and was enhanced by excellent lighting and appropriate props. The delightful nun’s costumes were all made by a group member with additional outfits being sourced by two other members. Apart from a few dubious accents, this was a show full of fun, and played with such enthusiasm, vitality and exuberance, especially in the ‘big’ numbers which were so well choreographed and executed. I enjoyed every minute and I definitely ‘Raise My Voice’ and applaud everyone involved. Well done.