Sister Act The Musical Review

Call me crazy, but I don't like watching films. There are a few I can watch on repeat, Sister Act being one of them. I've always loved the catchy songs and Whoopi Goldberg's witty performance as the delightful Deloris Van Cartier, so when I was invited along to watch the musical tour at Blackpool Winter Gardens, I felt a strange mixture of excitement, and concern that it wouldn't quite live up to my beloved film. 

However, all my prayers were answered, and after the first 5 minutes any concern I had was replaced by a bigger worry- trying to stop myself from jumping up and dancing in the aisles! I was completely captivated, and watched the whole show in wide eyed wonder. 
Alexandra Burke in a sparkly black habit and silver heels as Sister Mary Clarence
Credit: Jay Brooks
A particularly wonderful part of the performance was the star, Alexandra Burke. I knew she could belt out the hits, but I had a whisper of doubt that her acting would not be as powerful. Well, she gave me a lesson straight from the Book of Revelation, and absolutely shone as a divine Deloris. She brought all of the sass, confidence, and wit that I loved from Whoopi's portrayal, and if anything, notched them up to an even higher level to bring her own brand of fun to the famous nun!
Sisters in the convent
Credit: Tristran Kenton
The rest of the cast did not disappoint. You may have heard of a triple threat- someone who can act, sing, and dance, but this cast even included some members who played instruments on top of it all. It was so impressive, and added an interesting element which I hadn't seen in shows before. Every member of the cast oozed talent, and truly appeared to enjoy it as much as the audience. The sisters had us in stitches, and I could easily imagine them laughing their way through rehearsals- especially with Susannah van den Berg stepping into the role of the hilarious Sister Mary Patrick so perfectly.
Alexandra Burke as Deloris Van Cartier
Credit: Jay Brooks
Spoiler alert! The show did vary from the film, introducing deeper story lines, some new comic characters and a love interest for Deloris in the form of Sweaty Eddie, portrayed by Joe Vetch. His performance was beyond brilliant, as he took Eddie from zero to hero with a stunning solo and dazzling dance moves along the way. I particularly loved that the male romance didn't become the sole saviour, and instead they helped one another equally, which is much more fitting for a diva like Deloris.
Craig Revel-Horwood and Alexandra Burke
Credit: Jay Brooks
While the actors and musicians on stage were simply sublime, they couldn't have done it without choreography and direction from Craig Revel Horwood. He may be Strictly's bad guy, but his industry experience played an important part in making Sister Act so phenomenal, as did Glenn Slater's lyrics, and music from Alan Menken. He is the genius behind Tangled and The Little Mermaid, and he certainly sprinkled his magic on this show, too. Each song gave me goosebumps, and worked in perfect harmony with the performers' voices to get them raising the roof of Blackpool Winter Gardens. 

I truly hope that my review can do Sister Act justice. I was so honoured to be invited, and utterly blown away by every aspect of the show. It was one of the best nights of my life, and it's safe to say that the rest of the audience felt the same way, as we all rose during the finale to give the cast and crew a well deserved standing ovation. I thought it would be unequal to the film and I was right- it was so much better.

I owe the experience to Blackpool Winter Gardens, who kindly provided my tickets in exchange for review. The theatre itself is simply stunning, and helped to make the evening so special. 



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