Sister Act

Date 21st September 2023
Society Hoylake & West Kirby Theatre Group
Venue The Gladstone Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Hannah Broadbere
Musical Director Jeff Broadbere
Choreographer Simon Brock
ProducerSound&Lighting Elliot Tutt&Jamie Moran
Written By Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater,

Report

Author: Joanne Rymer

Sister Act

H.A.W.K

21/09.23

 

What an amazing atmosphere that greeted us on arrival at the Gladstone Theatre Port Sunlight - the auditorium was positively buzzing with anticipation for the performance to come. We were not disappointed.

Sister Act is a musical theatre favourite. Award winning composer Alan Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater, who together with script writers Chri and Bill Steinkeller, created one of the most popular shows with musical theatre audiences.

Cabaret singer Deloris Van Cartier (Ciera Evans) performing at nightclub with singers Michelle &Tina (Kate Harcus & Jenny Hough) witnesses a murder of a gang member Ernie (Stuart Clay) committed by Curtis (Mike Silverman) her gangster boyfriend, she flees the scene.  Curtis is determined to track her down.

Sister Act is full of big musical numbers, led by the impressive Ciera Evans who is perfectly cast in this role; she was born for the stage bringing Deloris to life.  Her vocals are incredible, she captures the cheeky yet loving essence of Deloris the whole way through. On stage for ninety percent of the show this was an outstanding performance from an extremely talented actor. Congratulations Ciera

Deloris goes to the Police where she is reunited with old school friend, she called Sweaty Eddie. Policeman Eddie Souther (Soloman Evans) knows Deloris from high school (where she was plain Doris), and the crush he had on her then is revived. Eddie advises her to hide out in a place where Curtis would never look for her; a convent!  This is an outstanding performance from Sol, he made the part his own.

Mother Superior’s (Gina Phillips) performance is an absolute joy, this was an accomplished performance. Gina sang beautifully, my favourite being “I Haven't Got a Prayer". Initially openly reluctant to accommodate the wayward Deloris, she takes advice from Monsignor O’Hara (Joe Potts) who suggests Deloris join the convents struggling choir. Mother Superior introduces Deloris as Sister Clarence from a more progressive convent. Absolute mayhem ensues as opposite worlds collide!

The principal Sisters include a truly talented array of talent. Sister Mary Patrick (Kaitlan Kay) a delight to watch, sharp, funny and bubbly who always sees the bright side of things. Sister Mary Lazarus (Ami Clewlow), the crusty argumentative director of the convent choir, at odds with the Mother Superior, great grumpy comic moments, first to embrace the changes Sister Clarence brought to the choir. Slightly deaf choir pianist Sister Mary Martin of Tours (Leanne Burgess) great stage presence, well timed comedic lines. Sister Mary Theresa (Tracey Williams) a strong delivery as the oldest inhabitant of the convent, loved her response when she heard the choir would perform for the Pope; priceless.  A word of praise for Katy Morris as the young postulant Sister Mary Robert, shy, and withdrawn she confides in Sister Clarence questioning her commitment to the convent, and was there a life outside. Her solo 'The Life I Never Led' was a highlight of the show for me. Beautiful performance, Katy. 

Curtis is a ruthless gangster, his back up men, Joey, TJ Pablo (Liam Comer, Jack Darker and K Ellis) all three add the comedy one liners as the easily led really nice guys who end up in bad company. Their joint number “Lady in the Long Black Dress is excellently performed with outrageous dance moves leaving the audience helpless with laughter.

Under the creative direction of Hannah Broadbere, breathtaking disciplined choreography from the talented Simon Brock and a cast and production team determined to give the audience a night to remember, that is just what we got. The set design by Ritchie Clarke & Alan Earl was impressive, combined with clever lighting by Jamie Moran & Victoria Emerson, with stained glass windows shining down to the stage. Responsible for sound was Elliot Tutt, ably assisted by Sarah Clarke. Praise to the costume team, thirty nuns’ habits is no easy feat; we reach the curtain call which sees the stage filled with a mixture of brightly coloured habits, truly colourful a sight to behold, great job by Rose Evans and the team. I need to mention an amazing costume change for Eddie in ‘I Could Be That Guy’ deservedly receiving a huge round of applause. Congratulations on a successful directorial debut, Hannah.

Whilst all of the principal characters excelled in their roles, Sister Act is without doubt an ensemble show, Hoylake and West Kirby (H.A.W.K) were outstanding providing a stunning mix of comedy and strong numbers, such as ‘Raise your Voice’ and ‘Spread the Love Around’, that showcased them all wonderfully. They are all excellent, I could not possibly single any one out, congratulations to all concerned.

There is something special that live music brings to a production. Musical Director Jeff Broadbere, led an extremely talented twelve-piece orchestra, crucial to the overall success of this musical. Marvellous.

H.A.W.K had full houses for all four performances of Sister Act, which they truly deserved. What a stunning show it had everything! The love and support that generated from the stage was magic. To see them all beaming with joy putting everything into their performance was wonderful.

Thank you for another memorable production, it was an incredible evening’s entertainment. Cannot wait for the next one.

 

Joanne Rymer

NODA

District 4