Review - Sister Act, Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Hallelujah! Show-stopping, heavenly hit performance Sister Act gets standing ovation from the crowd on opening night at the Northampton Royal & Derngate theatre.

Thursday, 30th March 2017, 10:30 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 7:02 pm
Alexandra Burke as Deloris Van Cartier. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

It was all about 'celibate nuns shaking their buns' on stage in the opening Northampton performance of Sister Act, starring powerhouse, Alexandra Burke as Deloris Van Cartier alongside a multi-talented cast.

First portrayed on the big screen by Whoopi Goldberg in 1992, Deloris is the sassy soul singer who witnesses her gangster beau (Aaron Lee Lambert) kill an employee and ends up in witness protection in a convent where she learns some life lessons.

After a slow start to the performance, she soon makes friends with the on-stage saxophone, flute and trumpet playing nuns, especially the youngster, Sister Mary Robert who lacks confidence. Quite the contrary to failed pop star wannabe, Van Cartier.

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Company shot. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

However, Deloris is soon ordered to show off her vocal chords when she is asked to join the church choir after the Mother Superior catches the new nun sneaking out to a seedy bar in the night, dragging the other nuns with her.

She quickly finds the soul in the sisters’ voices and turns them into a singing, swinging success.

The mix of emotions within Sister Act makes it a real joy to watch with the show’s fluid seam of storytelling running through it.

Set beneath convent arches, the stage plays host to a well-lit set, including a fluorescent nightclub, which gives the audience an insight into the seventies themed nights on the town.

Aaron Lee Lambert as 'Curtis'

It is quite intense at times, with gun warfare and murder but the audience soon leapt to their feet after two hours and 45 minutes of director-choreographer, Craig Revel Horwood’s inspired approach of fab-uh-lous casting.

Alan Menken’s original disco and soul-inspired tunes brought the show to life but kudos goes to the ensemble who sing, act, and dance but also provide the live music throughout the show.

Sister Act runs from Monday, March 27 to Saturday, April 1 with performances throughout the week. Alexandra Burke will only be playing Deloris for evening performances.

Tickets for the show cost from £18 to £49.50.

Company shot. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

For further details about the show or to book tickets in advance call the box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.

Aaron Lee Lambert as 'Curtis'