Sister Act

Date 21st April 2022
Society Berwick-upon-Tweed Amateur Operatic Society
Venue The Maltings, Berwick-upon-Tweed
Type of Production Musical
Director Kathryn Curry
Musical Director Mike Hardy
Assistant Director and Choreographer Denise Clarke

Report

Author: Michael L Avery

There are two quite big differences between the original 1992 film of Sister Act and this musical version which followed in 2006. Firstly, the action is moved from Reno, Nevada to Pittsburg. Not something the average Brit would probably notice but it would give a whole different vibe to an American audience. Secondly, and more noticeably, a whole new score was written by Alan Menken (music) and Glen Slater (lyrics), none of the music from the film featuring in the show.

It is a definite "feelgood" show and Berwick Operatic Society do it justice.  Nightclub singer Deloris van Cartier must take on the disguise of a nun to take refuge in a convent , having witnessed a gangland killing by her "friend", Curtis.  There are amusing, affecting and moving moments throughout, played well by a varied cast of principals and a chorus of, mostly, nuns.  Having been brought together over the very trying two year period we have all endured , the cast is not quite the same as originally envisaged and the sets have been minimalised in case of the need of unanticipated changes, but you hardly notice.  Marie Foreman is impressive and amusing as the slightly larger than life Deloris, with a voice to suit the part.  Lynn Ireland is excellent as the Mother Superior, a perfect foil for Deloris, originally unbending she gradually warms to the singer, especially when she realises the beneficial effect she is having on the vocal efforts of her nuns.  Lynne has a very impressive voicewhich she is able to exhibit in her touching solo, I Haven't Got a Prayer.

More immediately friendly to Deloris is Sister Mary Robert (Rachel Johnston) who is having trouble coming to terms with her vows which she expresses tenderly in her solo, The Life I Never Led . Meanwhile Curtis (Jim Herbert) is suitably intimidating as he and his three goons try to find Deloris and shut her up. Fortunately, they are incompetent although the three boys (Matty Forster, Kenneh Combe and Stuart Faed) do treat the audience to a very amusing number, Lady in the Long Black Dress,

Deloris’ police handler, Eddie (Jonathan Scott) is meanwhile falling under her spell which, fortunately, she reciprocates. Eddie also falls out of his chair quite spectacularly on a couple of occasions (intentionally)! But he comes up trumps when Curtis gets too close.

So, how to round this all off. Well, now safe from Curtis, Deloris and her chorus of swinging, singing nuns (including the Mother Superior), use their talents to save the church from being sold to developers. The audience feel very happy about this and leave the venue with their spirits rightly lifted, ready to Praise the Lord!.