The Reviews Are In....
The Big Stamp
by Paige Revill
Based on the hit 1992 film featuring Whoopi Goldberg, Sister Act is the feel-good musical that will captivate audiences. With original music by Alan Menken this is a musical comedy for all.
Deloris van Cartier witnesses the dealings of her notorious gangster boyfriend, she then goes into protective custody and finds herself placed in the Little Sisters of Our Mother of Perpetual Faith convent under the watchful eye of the strict and stern Mother Superior. Struggling to adjust in the convent’s safety, Deloris joins the choir with outstanding results.
Deloris van Cartier, glamorous, beautiful, sassy and most of all ridiculously talent, Shorelle Hepkins was the perfect lady for the role. From her mannerisms to her outstanding vocals, her dance moves to her comical one-liners, Shorelle shone on the stage and did a fantastic job. From when we first met Deloris, aspiring club performer to Sister Mary Cartier the rebellious nun, Shorelle played every version of Deloris perfectly.
The cast was full of very talented people with many people that I need to mention.
Joe White playing Monsignor O’Hara, from the moment Joe stepped onto the stage he transformed into Monsignor, his facial expression changed and his dance moves were perfect for the role. Joe got many laughs from the audience, absolute comedy gold.
The group of sisters, led by Georgina Willows had such a great connection with each other. You believed that they were sisters in a real convent. Faith Hardy, Ashleigh Badman and Isabel Berriman stood out for me from the group of sisters again for their great vocals and sometimes comical dance moves.
Ted Tooley playing Curtis the perfect villain, making everyone in the audience love to hate him.
Daniel Schofield when he transforms from a police officer to superstar back to a police officer is also a worthy mention. The costume and then the change of costume was fantastic and added a great aspect to the story.
The sets are very detailed and help you follow the story perfectly, from the dive bar to the police station, church to Mother superior’s office. My favourite set had to be the church/choir practise area. The large cross in the centre, the soft lighting and the effect of the stained glass windows made it feel like a genuine church. In true sister act style there had to be a glitter ball, perfect for when the sisters were belting out a song.
Every song fits perfectly with the scenes but to mention some of my favourites. Raise Your Voice and Take Me To Heaven. The atmosphere when Deloris and the nuns sang together was electric. When I Find My Baby sang by Curtis is another honourable mention, Curtis sang this with such grit and anger that you could read the emotion on his face.
I also have to mention the programme for Sister Act as I found it very interesting. It included all the actors and actresses and directors, writers and staff but it also mentions a back story into Sister Act itself. How Dolores was partially inspired by a Hollywood actress, Dolores Hart who stared across from Elvis Presley in Loving You and how she then went into an Abbey and lived a vowed life for the rest of her life. Such attention to detail went into the programme and it is a very interesting read.
Overall, it was a very great experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was a standing ovation at the end. I would recommend everyone to go see it, old to young, male or female. Everyone would enjoy this feel-good, amazing musical.
by Philip Smith
This evening we had the pleasure of seeing Sister Act the musical performed by Splinters Theatre Group at the Montgomery Theatre ,Sheffield . Sister Act the musical was based on the 1992 film featuring Whoopi Golberg with music by Alan Menken.
On entering the theatre to an open stage we immediately felt the magical lighting effect which set the tone for the performance to follow. The fast moving song and dance performance did not fail to impress.From the opening number featuring Deloris ,Shorelle Hepkin wonderfully supported by Tina , Louise and Michelle, Emily Bidder,Megan Romano and Rachel Wadsworth through to the finale the cast never dropped the pace and enjoyment of feel good musical. Mother Superior played by Georgina Willows gave a really powerful performance through her acting singing and showing the many emotions required with this role.
The other main sisters,Sister Mary Roberts,Faith Hardy.Sister Mary Patrick ,Ashleigh Badham and Sister Mary Lazarus ,Isabel Berriman all commanding the stage with their varying roles.The singing from everyone was a pleasure to listen to, be it solos or groups .I particularly enjoyed the many and varied characterisations they portrayed.
The thuggish gang evilly led by Curtis, Ted Tooley with T J ,Trevonte Golding . Joey ,Joshua Holliday and Pablo ,Matt Bevan all performed their roles with great enthusiasm along with some excellent singing showing off the many talents they all had .
Eddie Souther played by Daniel Schofield the inappropriately nicknamed Sweaty Eddie gave a commanding performance in his acting and singing with some lovely comedic touches in particular with the clever staging and quick changes during Fabulous baby in Act 2 which was a joy to watch. I was very impressed with the talented Joe White playing Monsignor O'Hara who filled the stage with his wide cheeky smiles every time he appeared , particularly during some quality scenes with Mother Superior.
Strong performances by Sister Mary Martin-of-Tours,Grace Hadabora and Sister Mary Theresa ,Amber Child-Cavill completed the principal Sisters line up .With Ernie ,Finn Greasley playing several parts.
Whilst mentioning the principal cast by name the remaining ensemble members all performed with such vitality,consistently strong singing and never slipping out of character,well done.You should all be proud of your performances and never think being at the back of certain numbers you can relax because you can't .I was delighted to see you didn't .
The production team should all be complemented for their many and varied visions of producing Sister Act. The shaping ,choreography and attention to detail was very pleasing..One small comment I would make was that just occasionally words were lost ,partly due to the speed of delivery ,a small thing to remember but not at all detracting from what you all achieved.
The lighting was outstanding and compliments go to Tom Dyson and the production team. Clever use of props and efficient set changes kept the show flowing throughout..The sound was nicely balanced between cast and the excellent orchestra allowing the audience to hear everything clearly so well done to Paul Minott and your MD Andrew Butterfield.
To the whole team,front of house,backstage stage management thank you for an excellent evening .
Earlier in my comments I made little reference to your Deloris Van Cartier, wow what a performance . Sister Act so demands a particular strength in this character ,the many emotions required , the highs and lows,quality acting skills and not least a beautiful powerful voice. My compliments go to you Shorelle Hepkin for making the character your own.
Finally SplintersTheatre Group is made up of performers between 14-30 , and the quality of this evening's performance was summed up by the well deserved standing ovation.
Don't miss this excellent production.