Sister Act Review - NODA Southern, May 2015

Scenery/Set/Properties:The various scenes: Cathedral, Curtis’s office, the night-club, police station etc were all created realistically but with minimal disruption. The scene changes were smooth and efficient. The set dressings were all appropriate and the props were excellent and well used by the cast.

Costumes: The costumes were fantastic, ranging from Deloris’s garish disco outfit to the nuns habits and wimples. The men in the “mob” were dressed in a nice mixture of retro disco, 70s/80s, all individual – helping to shape their characters.

Lighting & Sound: The lighting was effective and imaginative throughout with dazzling disco ball lighting, gorgeous and very colourful lighting emphasising the stained glass of the cathedral. The quality of the singing was outstanding and the live orchestra provided fine support to the vocalists. The sound overall was excellent, however, with regard to the American accents (some more successful than others) at times, especially in the faster songs including the rap, some of the words were lost.

The Production: The outstanding talent of the cast resounded throughout this excellent production. The expertise of the director/choreographer was evident as he was able to “drill his troops” to the highest level. The cast exhibited great comic ability as well as transforming from joy to sadness when needed. There were some exceptionally funny moments, particularly Joey, Pablo and TJ singing their way into the convent. Eddie (Alasdair Beddow) deserves special praise for his number “I could be that guy” almost every line sung with a different emotion, all evident in his face. I was mesmerised and almost missed his mid-song costume change! This show was packed with surprising moments and uplifting songs but definitely not to be taken seriously! Although Sister Act is female dominated show (with a powerhouse performance from leading lady Louise Gains as Deloris) the men also had their moments in the spotlight. There were also some memorable solos: Liz Ilett leading the rap, Sally Manning’s delightful Mother Superior and charismatic Tracey Gonzato to mention just a few. There was much to enjoy in this show: Colin Flaherty popping in and out as Monsignor O’Hara, the scene shifters dressed as choir-boys; the humour bubbling throughout. If there is energy on the stage (and there was, in abundance, in this instance) it filters out to the audience. The cast were obviously buzzing and it was catching. The production was a great credit to BATS under the directorship of the very experienced, Martyn Knight. Chris Horton District 14 Regional Representative

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