5 stars for Sister Act at The Regent
Sister Act hits the Regent theatre week with its high energy, fast paced musical based on the classic 90s film starring Whoopi Goldberg.
Directed by Bill Buckhurst with music by Alan Menken this show is sure to brighten up the grey drizzle of late September.
Review by Mel Osborne
Set in 1978, Disco Queen Deloris (Landi Oshinowo) will stop at nothing to become the next Donna Summer – even if it means having an affair with a notorious married nightclub owner.
However, things turn sour when she witnesses a murder which she reports to the police. If she is discovered her life is in danger so old school friend and caring policeman Eddie Southern ( Alfie Parker) places her in the one place she won’t be found. A Convent!
Deloris, who stands out like a sore thumb in this modest establishment soon finds she has a challenge on her hands when she transforms the nervous nuns into unholy Divas! There is no messing around with this techni coloured musical. There is no lengthy dialogue but just lots of amazing songs and hilarious slapstick comedy.
Lesley Joseph known for her role as nightmare neighbour Dorian in the 90s show ‘Birds of a Feather’ plays Mother Superior and superior she really is.
Despite being known for television she owns the stage with her perfectly paced articulation and effortlessly delivered lines. In contrast Oshinowo’s character is wild and unstoppable, her energy leaking off the stage as she bangs out numbers such as ‘Take me to Heaven’ and encourages the nuns to lift the roof with their songs.
The whole show is staged on a sparkling beautiful set. The church scenery was elegant and gothic in comparison to the glitzy crazy lit world of the nightclubs. It is so visually eye catching that even sitting up in the circle you could see and enjoy the performance.
A notable performance was from Alfie Parker as Eddie Southern who holds a very big torch for Deloris. He belts out the heart warming song “I could be that guy” featuring some stunning costume changes!
The ensemble are strong and slick, with effortless scene changes and smooth transitions. The taxi chase scene at the beginning was an exemplary example of physical theatre and the atmosphere at the theatre was electrifying as the Sister Act cast and crew pulled off an amazing performance that cannot be missed.
It can feel sometimes that every film made has an accompanying musical – some work and some don’t and it can feel terribly commercial. Sister Act is a pure joy to watch and an experience like ‘nun’ other! Any unholy thoughts of darkness will soon disappear once these nuns have you dancing in your seat. The music and songs are beautifully written and provide a solid narrative to the show.
There are many messages in Sister Act, such as not judging people by appearances, but the take home message is raise the roof with your song!
Sister Act is at The Regent Theatre until Saturday 30 September 2023. Tickets can be booked via The Regent HERE
(All images Mark Senior.)