|Date||14th October 2016|
|Society||Beaconsfield Operatic Society|
|Venue||Phoenix Theatre Blyth|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Susan Smith|
Author: R J Lowry
Sister Act is not the easiest musical for an amateur company to put on: there is a large cast who have to sing (dazzlingly after a low start), dance, act and enthuse; it has a religious setting which may not be so fashionable these days; and the show calls for a big staging being located in Philadelphia and reliant on bags of atmosphere to frame the story.
Beaconsfield Operatic Society acquitted themselves admirably with this production. The show calls for two very strong leads (night-club singer and murder witness Deloris Van Cartier and the Mother Superior who reluctantly hides Deloris from her gang-land hunters); Kathryn Sabourn and Kath Dryden played those respective parts with strength, skill and character. Other performances much appreciated by the capacity audience were the baddies Curtis (Michael Douglas), TJ (Robert Sabourn), Joey (Marc Dougan) and Pablo (Lewis Spence) especially for a comedy routine in the second half. The chorus of Nuns were bubbly, bright, cheerful and in fine voice (even if some of the players who were unmiked were quiet compared to their colleagues). Clever and effective use of projected scenes overcame potential staging dilemmas in a theatre with tight backstage areas; the set and its management comfortably carried the action and atmosphere along. It is also gratifying to see a company insisting on a live accompaniment (MD Susan Smith) which can’t be easy with the orchestra off-stage (which a few signers found difficult now and again). But the final arbiters must be the audience and they gave the show a rousing reception and a well-deserved encore. Well done to director Peter Denton and the team.