Sister Act The Musical: Eventim Apollo, London
18th August 2022
For the first time in over 10 years Sister Act the Musical is back in London in this celebration of the universal power of friendship, sisterhood and music. Sister Act follows Deloris as she seeks protective custody after witnessing a murder – by becoming a nun! Disguised and under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her new sisters find their voices.
Sister Act is bright, colourful and upbeat. The perfect show to cure the blues. Fans of the original production will be pleased to see that much of the original music by Tony® and 8-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken remains the same with the only notable difference being in the re-written song ‘It’s Good To Be A Nun’ (previously ‘How I Got the Calling‘) and the addition of new song ‘I Haven’t Got A Prayer‘. The music is fun and lively and with Beverly Knight starring as Deloris Van Cartier it is a delight to listen to. Beverly Knight is exceptional and her soul voice works brilliantly for the character. She knows how to command the stage and her take on the iconic Deloris is brilliant. The score features lots of ensemble numbers and it is here where the harmonies excel, particularly during ‘Raise Your Voice‘, ‘Take Me To Heaven’ and ‘Sunday Morning Fever‘. This production sure has got some well-known musical stars who are not shy to belting out a tune including Keala Settle, Clive Rowe, Lizzie Bea and Jeremy Secomb.
Comedy legend and BAFTA Award-winner Jennifer Saunders as Mother Superior is just fantastic. She adds her own unique element of comedy which audiences have come to expect whilst also remaining true to the character. Saunders‘ vocals during ‘I Haven’t Got A Prayer‘ prove that she is more than just a comedian. Whilst she may not have the most powerful voice, what she lacks with power she more than makes up with comic timing and wit. Lesley Joseph, no stranger to the musical stage having recently been in the UK Tour of Annie, is also excellent as Sister Mary Lazarus and really impresses with her vocals, particularly during ‘Raise Your Voice‘. Happy-go-lucky Sister Mary Patrick is played brilliantly by Keala Settle. Unfortunately, due to the rewrite of ‘How I Got The Calling’ audiences are no longer introduced to all of the nuns and this affects the relevance of Sister Mary Robert and any empathy the audience may feel towards her. However, Lizzie Bea’s rendition of ‘The Life I’ve Never Led‘ and the reprise certainly wows audiences and shows off the characters true vulnerability and commitment to her sisters.
The set, designed by Morgan Large, does feel small given the enormity of the venue. However, it does work well and it will definitely impress during the shows UK Tour which starts on the 20th September. The set pieces are cleverly used to add to the production and create some memorable moments onstage. Tim Mitchell’s lighting is excellent. Bright and colourful; the lit backdrops work brilliantly to create the convent’s stained glass windows and create the glitz and glamour Deloris dreams of. Alistair David’s choreography is inspired by 1970’s Motown, soul and disco, and is performed effectively throughout the show. Sister Act is not a dance heavy show but the dance sequences which are included fit in completely and add to the performance.
Sister Act the Musical remains true to the much loved Whoopi Goldberg film and encourages everyone to Raise Your Voice in this story of friendship. Hilarious, moving and most of all fun; Sister Act is a great way to spend an evening this summer so make sure you head down to this magical production or check it out on its UK Tour.
Sister Act The Musical is playing at the Eventim Apollo until the 28th August 2022 before continuing on the UK tour. For information and tickets click here.
Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan