Sister Act at The Musical at Royal & Derngate Theatre Northampton Review


Reviewed by Ilze Lee

Praise the Lord for the joys of the theatre!

We’ve been truly blessed with an invitation to review this show, and even as I write these words, I am still basking in the afterglow of this experience.

This production of Sister Act is what theatre is all about—energy, humour, heart, and soul. It’s a show that wraps you in its warm embrace and leaves you with a sense of belonging. If I could bottle up this feeling and share it, there’d be no need to find the words. But since that’s impossible, let me attempt to convey the magic of this performance.

Photo Credit: Mark Senior

The Cast
Deloris Van Cartier, played by Landi Oshinowo, blew us away with her voice! I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t the powerhouse performance we received. From the moment she took the stage, she commanded attention, delivering every line and note with a blend of sass and soul that made the audience fall in love with her instantly.

‘Steady Eddie’, the lovable cop portrayed by Alfie Parker, had us on his side from the get-go. His unrequited love for Deloris was clear, tugging at our heartstrings. We see him transform from the awkward, bumbling officer to a rock star and finally, to a life-saving hero. His journey was a rollercoaster, and he took us along for the ride, making us root for him every step of the way.

Photo Credit: Mark Senior

The villains, led by Curtis Jackson (Ian Gareth-Jones), might have played their roles a little too well! A stand out moment was the performance of the henchman, whose seedy performance was a big contrast to the nuns’ wholesome performances and left the audience in absolute stitches.

Mother Superior, played by the superb Wendi Peters, delivered a performance that was nothing short of divine. Her relationship with the Lord was portrayed with such depth and humour, it was clear that her faith was not just skin deep but an intimate bond of love, trust, and occasional exasperation. We loved seeing the relationship between her and Deloris develop.

Sister Mary Robert, the unexpected star of the show, captured our hearts with her innocent charm and surprising vocal prowess. I couldn’t take my eyes of her, and she exceeded all expectations. Played by Eloise Runette, her transformation from a timid novice to a confident singer was a highlight of the evening. Her journey was a testament to the power of believing in oneself, and she immersed us in her performance completely.

Photo Credit: Mark Senior

The Show
The show itself was just the right blend of comedy, drama, and music. The humour was spot-on, often invoking hearty laughs with its clever dialogue and physical comedy. The musical numbers were energetic and uplifting, with the ensemble cast delivering show-stopping performances one after another.

A slight wardrobe malfunction during one of the high-energy dance numbers could have spelled disaster, but the cast handled it with such grace and professionalism that it became a charming testament to their teamwork. As a piece of costume jewellery shot off and landed between a dancer’s feet, a quick prayer for safety was swiftly answered as the sisters seamlessly continued their act, the errant accessory discreetly moved to the back of the stage without missing a beat.

The Venue
Northampton’s Royal & Derngate Theatre, with its recent refurbishments, provided the perfect setting for this heavenly show. The audience moved through the doors quickly, aided by a friendly and efficient team. Parking was conveniently close by and reasonably priced, adding to the overall positive experience.

The Experience
The theatre is always something special, and this performance was no exception. As the final number drew to a close, many gave a standing ovation. A quick look around revealed smiling faces and enthusiastic applause, a clear indication that the show was a resounding success. Walking back to the car park, the air was filled with happy chatter, with everyone reiterating just how brilliant the evening had been.

Blessed be the theatre, the actors, the set designers, the musicians, and all those who bring such joy through their creativity. This show is not just a must-see, it’s a must-experience.

Rating: 10/5

If I could, I’d give this show a rating of 10/5. It’s that good. Tickets are available at https://www.royalandderngate.co.uk, https://www.royalandderngate.co.uk/whats-on/sister-act-2024/ and priced really reasonable between £15 and £44 until 15th June 2024. Don’t miss your chance to witness this divine spectacle. Hallelujah, indeed!

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