22nd February 2018
Cast Theatre Doncaster
Type of Production
Susan Teale & Gemma Wigham
Author: Les Smith
Playing the part of Deloris Van Cartier is not an easy thing to do, I would imagine a good number of people will compare the person playing it to Whoopie Goldberg who of course played this in the film version of Sister Act, well neither Doncaster Stage Productions nor April Sprott need any qualms about this as April was nothing less than perfect in this part, she had the right mannerisms, accent to deliver the lines and of course the voice to do the songs justice. April was perfect in every way and the audience loved her.
April had a good relationship with the Mother Superior who was also played to perfection by Andrea Sutton, again she was able to get every ounce of passion from this part to make it believable and although she was not in favour of Deloris being at the Convent she did eventually warm to her in the end. Both April and Andrea excelled themselves when they sang Here Within These Walls, it was breathtaking and loved by every member of the audience, they worked extremely well together all the way through the show and the culmination was when they sang Spread the Love Around and were joined by the rest of the company.
Of course this is not a two women show there are many others who must play their parts in order to make it work and they all did, I especially enjoyed the performance of Trish Lampard as Sister Mary Lazarus, she was excellent and had just the right amount of rebellion in her to make this part work, there were also sterling performances from Sarah Powell as the hyper Sister Mary Patrick and Kelly Jennings as Sister Mary Roberts, the young postulant who is totally unsure about everything, she however did make her mark when she eventually realised what she wanted and delivered a wonderful rendition of The Life I Never Led, it was magnificent.
The whole convent came alive when Deloris joined the rest of the nuns in songs such as It’s Good to be a Nun, Raise Your Voice and Take Me to Heaven, I was surprised the whole theatre did not join them although there were plenty on their feet at the end of the show to give a well deserved standing ovation. The Nuns not only had Mother Superior to keep them in check, they also had Monsignor O’Hara in the guise of David Hermon supporting them, again David was able to make this part his own and deliver the goods.
On the other side of the track there was Deloris’ boyfriend Curtis played extremely well by Davron Hicks who as always was able to create a very believable character as well as providing a high standard of singing in his number When I Find my Baby where he was joined by his gang of TJ, Joey and Pablo who combined to make a superb trio of the most unlikeliest of gangsters. Russell Horsfall, Andy Green and Jack Poskill played these parts respectively with ease, although it is true they had a fine combination of Mullets and wigs to help them, they also were able to deliver some fine numbers with ease, I especially enjoyed Lady in the Long Black Dress and I am sure I was not the only one in the audience who thought this.
Deloris found her long lost love interest whilst at the Convent, Eddie, or Sweaty Eddie as she used to call him, Al Powell was great in this part as the very nervous unassuming Police Officer who thought he had found himself when he sang I Could be That Guy with the homeless gang, it was so funny and was loved by all.
As with many shows there are far too many parts to name them all individually but needless to say they all played their parts to deliver an extremely great show which as the standing ovation suggested was enjoyed by all and I loved the finale when several nuns were dressed as Honey G look-a-likes, brilliant.
Congratulations must be paid to Ian Colley who directed this piece and was able to put in some great little touches such as getting Sister Mary Lazarus, Trish Lampard, some brown boots to wear to show her rebellious streak and also ensuring Deloris had a bible under her pillow in the bedroom scene to show she had been reading it. This show also had a brilliant orchestra under the direction of Ian Gude who not only conducted them expertly but also was able to get the very best out of the whole cast to produce an amazing show.
Praise must also go to Susan Teale and Gemma Wigham as the Choreographers of this show, their work was stunning and fitted in extremely well with the whole concept of the show.