Tuesday, August 16

Sister Act – Palace Theatre, Manchester

30 years ago, Whoopi Goldberg played potentially her most iconic role of Deloris Van Cartier in the blockbuster classic; Sister Act. The movie has since been transferred to the stage as a musical. Despite being postponed two years due to the pandemic, it was definitely worth the wait and is of course, ‘Fabulous Baby’!

In a cast that boasts many well-known faces including Jennifer Saunders, Keala Settle and Lesley Joseph, in comparison it is the relatively unknown ‘Sandra Marvin’ who plays the leading role. She certainly brought the sass needed to play the iconic role of Deloris. However, if I am being constructive, she does have a great voice, but it’s not that wow start quality that I would have expected from the leading lady.

Saunders was hilarious in the role of Mother Superior. She knows fine well she’s not the best singer or dancer, but she makes up for it with her comedy skills. At one point she ad-libed that she was ‘pitchy’.

However, for me the standout star of the night was Lizzie Bea as Sister Mary Robert. I’ve been fortunate enough to see Sister Act on stage numerous times and her interpretation of the character is up there as the best version.

Morgan Large as set and costume designer deserves more than a special mention. The way the set effortlessly turned from nightclub to police station to convent was absolutely spectacular. The costumes at the end were simply fantastic.

With Sister Act the musical, it must be pointed out the songs on stage are not the ones from the movie. So, if you’re coming to hear ‘I Will Follow Him’ and ‘My God’, unfortunately you will be disappointed. However, songs such as ‘Raise Your Voice’ are so powerful and uplifting, the end of Act 1 was almost like an encore!

Anyone who watches this musical will feel joyful and uplifted afterwards. The cast are absolutely sublime, even the little details on the nuns with smaller parts were great. Thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend to anyone wanting a good night out.

Sister Act plays at the Palace Theatre in Manchester until 9th July 2022, before transferring to the Eventim Apollo in London and then embarking on a UK and Ireland tour. More information can be found at https://www.sisteractthemusical.co.uk

Reviewer: Brian Madden

Reviewed: 4th July 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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