19-24 September 2016
Reviewed by Katy Hart
‘Sing Hallelujah’, Sister Act has arrived at the Bristol Hippodrome. Directed by Craig Revel Horwood and starring Alexandra Burke (X-Factor 2008 winner and principal role in The West End musical The Bodyguard) this really is an all new, high energy and exciting take on the 1992 film comedy and the West End smash hit musical comedy.
Deloris Van Cartier (Burke) is an aspiring singer caught up in a relationship with a criminal boyfriend, Curtis (Aaron Lee Lambert). After witnessing him murder a fellow gang member Deloris is needing witness protection and finds herself seeking sanctuary in a convent of all places. Under a disguise as Sister Mary Clarence she finds following the structures and simplicity of the convent alien and difficult, especially struggling with not drawing attention to herself.
As a shared love for music is discovered, Deloris is given responsibility of the choir and transforms them, not only individually as she befriends the sisters, but also collectively into confident and beautifully soulful musicians reaching out with their message. As financial donations come flooding in, the struggling church and convent are saved.
As Deloris gives of herself and helps others discover themselves, she also discovers who she is and as billed in the programme, the musical really is “A sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, sisterhood and music”.
Sister Act features original music by Alan Menken and includes song titles ‘Sunday Morning Fever’, Take Me to Heaven’ and the remarkably beautifully sung ‘I Could Be That Guy’ by Eddie (Jon Robyns) who is Deloris’ police officer responsible for her safety.
Burke absolutely nails the role of Deloris, bringing to it confident and phenomenal vocals, with the most exuberant dance moves, along with a humour that we haven’t seen before from her.
The trio of nuns Sisters Mary Robert, Patrick and Lazarus are hilariously funny, as is the wonderfully performed guitar trio.
In a different twist, almost all principals take on the role of musician by playing an instrument or two whilst on stage, it is quite something to see a nun with a saxophone!
A very well deserved standing ovation and a final dance in our seats sent us all home with an energetic spring in our step and uplifted mood.
Thoroughly recommended – an excellent evening out.
Tickets cost from £15 to £72.50 (booking fees may apply).
Sister Act is at the Bristol Hippodrome until 24 September 2016. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 3012.
Bristol Hippodrome, St Augustine’s Parade, Bristol, BS1 4UZ | 0844 871 3012