‘Sister Act’ is the latest production by Shenfield Operatic Society, who have previously brought us Copacabana and Sweeney Todd. The show, based on the 1992 film of the same name, tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, an aspiring disco diva who, after witnessing her boyfriend killing a man, is forced to hide in a convent
I was worried about how I would react to a ‘Sister Act’ without Whoopi Goldberg, but the musical is in a different class to the movie and as soon as the singing began I relinquished those fears. Deloris Van Carter was played by Kerry Cooke, who is also the chair of Shenfield Operatic, and she was energetic and shined, really making the part her own.
David Pridige shows his full range of skills in singing and dancing while portraying the timid character of Detective Sargent Eddie Souther. One of my favorite songs was his song ‘I could be that guy’ during which David has an ABBA style moment where his fellow dancers rip off his clothes to reveal a golden disco suit underneath.
The scenes that I really enjoyed were the songs involving all the Nuns, with the joy and light that shines from all the girls during these moments it’s hard not to smile all the way through.
But I also enjoyed the gangster type character of Curtis Shank, played by Martin Harris, and it was funny seeing Martin and his crew, made up of TJ (Jack Lloyd) , Joey (Allister Smith) and Pablo (David Ward), all letting loose on the dance floor in ‘Ladyin the Long Black Dress’
The scenery was fantastic, with the stage instantly transformed from a police station, to a church and then to a street, using a clever mixture of drop down backgrounds and staging on wheels that could be rotated and easily moved. The costumes were equally stunning with at least 5 different style of habits used throughout the show
The actors were supported by Orchestra, including keyboards, flutes and guitars, and they did such an amazing job that you kind of forgot they were there, focusing more on the characters and singing.
The night was one that will leave me smiling for a while and another example of the amazing amateur dramatic talent that could be affected if funding is pulled from The Queen’s Theatre