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Sister Act

Date

9th February 2018

Society

Sawston Youth Drama

Venue

The Marven Centre, Sawston, Cambridge

Type of Production

Youth Production

Director

Adam Bonner

Musical Director

Paul Garner

Choreographer

Karen Revill

Report

Author: Decia Ranger

Sister Act is surely one of the most uplifting musicals and it is proving to be almost as popular with youth groups, as it is with adult societies.  The story of the would be disco diva who witnesses a murder and is given witness protection in a convent - until she blows her cover, is hilariously funny but has some very moving moments.

The action, for the most part, takes place in the convent and this formed the basis of the well thought out set, with pillars and a lovely ‘stained glass’ window.

The score for this show can be challenging but the chorus of nuns were in excellent voice and their rendition of Raise your Voice can only be described as absolutely joyous.

A strong performance by Bonnie Robinson as Deloris van Cartier. This young actress was a joy to watch and I did so like her interaction with Mother Superior.  Her solos were good and she sensibly sang them her way rather than risk straining her voice. Very well done.

Well done also to Lizzy Nightingale as Mother Superior.  An excellent portrayal of this uptight character, unaccustomed to showing her emotions. The paced delivery of her dialogue never faltered and her solos were very well sung.

There were good lively performances from Kate Rainsford as Sister Mary Patrick and Hannah Gillett as Sister Mary Lazarus.  The role of Sister Mary Robert was nicely played by Amelia Perry.

Reece Bond made an excellent Eddie.  His solo I Could Be That Guy was well sung and the Travolta costume was revealed and discarded without a hitch. 

Callum Hutchcraft did a good job of tackling the role of gangster Curtis. The choreography supporting his well sung solo, When I Find My Baby, was terrific and well executed by his three sidekicks played by Conor Caughtry (TJ), Jake Dann (Joey) and Josh Henson (Pablo).  These three characters also have their own song, Lady in the Long Black Dress, which is always a bit of a showstopper and the rendition here was no exception.

There were other good performances from Jodie Searle as Sister Mary Martin of Tours and from Sophie Challis as Sister Mary Theresa.   

I would like to have seen the Monsignor, well played by Sully Bishop, move around the stage more, especially during the excitement of reading the reviews.  He did tend to stay down stage left for a lot of the time. This is no reflection on his handling of the role, which was good. Rather a directing issue.

The production was well costumed with nice colourful touches to the nun’s habits when called for. One or two of the principals would have benefitted from having a long sleeved top under their costume, thereby avoiding bare arms, but this is a minor thing and just a personal observation.

The band gave excellent accompaniment as always and was never too loud, probably due to being hidden at the back of the stage!

Lighting was good and scene changes were carried out with minimum interruption to the pace.

Another very good production by SYD Seniors, but then I have come to expect nothing less from these young people, many of whom have come through the younger groups and matured into confident young actors and singers, thanks to the help and encouragement of all those who work tirelessly on their behalf.

Thank you for inviting me, I had a lovely evening.