Alexandra Burke – Deloris Van Cartier
Karen Mann – Mother Superior
Rosemary Ashe – Sister Mary Lazarus
Aaron Lee Lambert – Curtis
Sarah Goggin – Sister Mary Robert
Susannah Van Den Berg – Sister Mary Patrick
Jon Robyns – Eddie
Show Date – Friday 9th September 2016
Venue – Sunderland Empire
I want to start by saying that not only has this review taken me what feels like forever to put together as I have been struggling to decide how to sum it all up really. I massively love the film Sister Act and it was certainly one of my most watched films as a child. I knew the Musical was very different in terms of original songs from start to finish, so I didn’t have an issue knowing it was going to be like that.
The thing is though the songs aren’t really all that great. That is therefore a very big problem when it comes to a musical isn’t it! We need at least one show stopping song that is going to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, make you gasp or take a deep breath thinking wow that is incredible. By the closing number and moments we are still left waiting for at least one of those feelings.
That left the main feeling for myself after watching this musical as disappointed. I was expecting much more than it offered and feel like it could have really been something special, which is such a shame. The story is still pretty much kept the same as the film which is perfectly fine and we have mainly the same characters when it comes to Deloris and the nuns. The problem characters had to be Curtis and his minions, they were all pathetic and obviously put in for a few laughs but let’s face it they were not funny at all. I think they could have kept it with a more serious edge and it would have even helped some of the songs, I mean they were actually trying to find Deloris to kill her.
I almost forgot to mention Eddie the cop who is trying to protect her, another character that could have been so much better. But a forced “love” story again spoilt any real plot. When let’s face it someone like Deloris really would not be looking at the nervous and pathetic Eddie. Seems to be a real problem with the male characters in this show, which I guess is a first even all put together they wouldn’t create a strong character. Maybe it is trying to push the female lead and support too much.
I will say though that if I had to choose the best character it had to be Mother Superior who got the only song I thought had potential when in the second act she gets her moment to shine alone. Performance wise I don’t really think anyone stood out, I mean don’t get me wrong Alexandra Burke has a fantastic voice but as I mentioned earlier with the weak songs doesn’t really get to show it off that often. Even “Raise Your Voice” which I am guessing is supposed to be the shows main song really lacks that cutting edge. I wish I had seen Burke in The Bodyguard as I am sure that would really highlight her fantastic vocals.
It’s ok though isn’t it to not like and enjoy everything you see on stage? I certainly am starting to think so now. I have accepted that I am not going to totally love each and every musical or play I have the pleasure of seeing. With this being a new UK Tour I am quite interested in how it has then changed over the years, if anyone has seen it before I would appreciate any comments!