Review: SISTER ACT, King's Theatre, Glasgow

The heavenly musical comedy comes to Scotland!

By: Nov. 16, 2022
Review: SISTER ACT, King's Theatre, Glasgow

Review: SISTER ACT, King's Theatre, Glasgow Raise a hallelujah! Sister Act has landed in Glasgow. The divine musical comedy inspired by the hit 1992 film comes to the King's Theatre. This particular production was delayed due to the pandemic and opened at the Eventim Apollo Theatre in London in 2022 before heading on tour.

Sandra Marvin plays Deloris Van Cartier, an aspiring singer, who finds herself as a key witness in a crime involving her ex, Curtis Jackson (menacingly played by Jeremy Secomb). The authorities proceed to hide her in a convent in Philadelphia on the verge of folding due to lack of attendance at services and the financial difficulties incurred. During her stay, Deloris is encouraged to get involved with the convent's choir activities and a joyous Culture Clash ensues.

Marvin beams as Deloris, giving sass and sparkle to every moment. She leads the larger lively numbers with gusto. Lesley Joseph easily has some of the best lines in the show as Mother Superior. Lizzie Bea stands out as Sister Mary Robert, with a particularly emotive and heartfelt rendition of "The Life I Never Led".

Graham MacDuff wins over the audience as gormless Eddie Souther, and Curtis' entourage trio, played by Damian Buhagiar, Tom Hopcroft and Bradley Judge, garner many laughs of the evening as they plot to hunt down Deloris, as does the entire convent of Our Ladies of Perpetual Sorrow.

The dazzling disco-infused Alan Menken score is deftly delivered by the orchestra, conducted by Neil MacDonald - although the size of the "orchestra" is noticeably trim compared with the original 2009 production, and some of the cast very occasionally struggle to keep up with the driving tempos. Glenn Slater's lyrics are full of wit, and some of the more sincere moments wouldn't be out of place in your typical worship service.

Alistair David's choreography ensures the cast is bopping along with the score, giving the audience a night to remember (and a couple of opportunities to join in!).

Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner's book is full of gags and, under Bill Buckhurst's direction, keeps a good pace on stage - a joke about protestants goes down particularly well with the Glasgow audience in attendance.

A couple of scenes differ from the film (you won't see a multitude of nuns running around a casino here but you will get a similarly satisfying chase scene) and it was a little surprising that the term "transvestite" had been kept in the script for this revival.

Morgan Large's set design centres around stunning circular rose windows, and the use of other set pieces transports us between the convent and other locations on set. Large's costume design has the expected habits and roots the other characters in the seventies, plus the finale rivals Strictly Come Dancing for the number of sequins on show.

Tim Mitchell's lighting design reinforces the stained glass concept, taking us from gloomy church interiors at the start to the technicolour finale.

This show clearly has a fond place in many peoples' hearts, indicated by the packed Glasgow theatre, and many were on their feet dancing along at the end. Sister Act celebrates and exuberates joy, something we all need at the moment!

Sister Act at The King's Theatre Glasgow until 19 November then continues on tour

Photo credit: Manuel Harlan


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