Wednesday, 28 May 2014

SISTER ACT at Nottingham Theatre Royal
by Carlton Operatic Society

"Sister Act" is the story of Deloris Van Cartier , a nightclub singer who witnesses her boyfriend, gangster and nightclub owner Curtis,shooting one of his henchmen and decides to squeal to the police. She is then hidden within a group of nuns, for her own protection, and teaches them to sing, So well in fact that they are invited to sing in front of the Pope which attracts the attention of the media,and of course Curtis and his henchmen.

And so to my favourite bit...let there be praise!

OMG! This was as good, if not better than the professional production that was doing the rounds a few years back, but when I say professional, there is no lack of professionalism here.

Deloris is played by Monique Henry and you wouldn't know that this is her debut on stage as an actor as she oozed, flounced, sashayed and belted out the songs like a seasoned pro that I have every expectation she will become. Great stage presence and exuberance swept us all along with her story. Forget Whoopi Goldberg there's a new sister on the block and she has attitude in abundance! Monique has everything you would want from a leading lady including an amazing soul/gospel set of pipes on her. I can't wait to see where she goes from here.

The whole cast were just fantastic. Loved the comedy from Curtis's flunkies, Joey (Liam Hall), TJ (Mark Coffey-Bainbridge) complete with 70's "fro", and Pablo (Nigel Newton), all regular Nottingham stage regulars.Curtis was played by Lyndon Warnsby, even managed to receive a few "boos" aimed at him at the curtain call.

The "sisters" were such a wonderfully talented bunch that regularly brought a smile to my, already Cheshire cat type face, so thank you, Jenny, Lisa-Marie,Sarah, Jackie, Hannah, Laura, Rosie, Jayne, Katie etc etc. What moves n grooves for sisters of the cloth.

Another brilliant little role was played by Ray McLeod as Officer "sweaty" Eddie Souther, the saviour of the piece, if you'd pardon the expression!

A lovely sound from the orchestra under the guidance of musical director, Chris Rees, energetic choreography from Lisa Lee and some really good sets, quickly placed, which were effective but at times slightly noisier than they needed to be, but I'm sure that this is something that will be reduced over the run. Another great success story as well from director, Amanda Hall.

The songs will get your hands clapping, your toes tapping and on your feet at the end of the night. Brilliant rousers like "Take Me To Heaven", "Raise Your Voice" and "Sunday Morning Fever" and some lovely tender moments like "I Haven't Got A Prayer" and "The Life I Never Led" along with some very funny songs (just listen to the words and remember The Floaters "Float On") from TJ, Pablo and Joey with "Lady In The Long Black Dress".

If you're not on your feet and clapping at the end of this show you must be deaf, daft or dead, or all three. I loved it and was proud to say that I was first to my feet (as far as I could see anyway). Thank you Carlton Operatic Society for a heavenly show.

"Sister Act" is on at the Nottingham Theatre Royal until Saturday 31st May 2014

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