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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Review: Sister Act at Newcastle Theatre Royal



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Sisters Take Newcastle To Heaven

Sister Act
Newcastle Theatre Royal
Until 25th July 2015.

A glittering show comes to Newcastle following in the footsteps of the 1992 classic comedy film starring Whoopi Goldberg.

The story begins in a nightclub as Deloris Van Cartier (Lauren Gordon) is trying to get a recording contract using a contact her boyfriend and club boss Curtis Shank (Leon Gill) knows. After he lets her down Curtis decides to smooth it over by giving Deloris a blue furry coat. Deloris is not too impressed when she spots Curtis’s wife’s name in the coat and so she heads off to give Curtis a piece of her mind.

Deloris stumbles over Curtis shooting a man and she quickly tries to escape. He sends 3 of his men TJ ( Ty Roach-Thompson), Pablo (Andy Ewart) and Joey (Dan Greener) to go after her. Meanwhile she takes refuge in a police station and trips over Sweaty Eddie (Simon Pinkney) – a cop who fancied her when they went to school together. He arranges for Deloris to hide in a convent until the trial.

It is in the convent when the fun begins. Mother Superior (Helen Cash) does not approve of Deloris but invites her to use her talents to sort out the tuneless choir. Deadpan Sister Mary Lazarus (Jojo Hatfield) hands over the choir and it is quickly apparent that Sister Mary Patrick (Sarah Wales) is loud and enthusiastic and others are badly out of tune. Novice Sister Mary Robert (Angela Lawery) on the other hand is very timid.

Add into the mix that Monsignor O’Hara passes on the news that the convent is likely to close down as antique dealers want the building and the stage is set for the music to weave its magic.

Following in the footsteps of such a well known film, the cast has to establish itself quickly into each role.  There are some big shoes to fill but the killer combination of great singing voices, comedy timing and creating likeable characters ensure that the cast are accepted. 

Lauren Gordon leads brilliantly on the Act 1 closing numbers ‘Raise your voice’ and ‘Take me to heaven’. Helen Cash is stunning during ‘Here within these walls’ and ‘I haven’t got a prayer’.

It is not just the ladies with great voices as Simon Pinkney and Leon Gill entertained with ‘ I could be that guy’ and ‘When I find my baby’ respectively. The large band under Musical Director Michael Lamb fills the theatre with a crisp sound. Sandra Laidler has done a fabulous job, not only in directing the slick production but also choreographing the increasingly complex routines.

It is a compliment to all involved that the show felt professional. The comedy was fun and light-hearted, the singing superb and the audience left feeling good.  What more could one want?

This review was written by Stephen Oliver  the North East Theatre Guide Preview from Jowheretogo PR (www.jowheretogo.com ). Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Jowheretogo on Facebook www.facebook.com/Jowheretogo


Cast includes:
Deloris Van Cartier (Lauren Gordon) Curtis Jackson (Leon Gill) Sweaty Eddie (Simon Pinkney)
Mother Superior (Helen Cash)  Monsignor O’Hara (Noel Harris)
Sister Mary Patrick (Sarah Wales) Sister Mary Robert (Angela Lawery) Sister Mary Lazarus (Jo Jo Hatfield)
Joey (Dan Greener) TJ (Ty Roach Thompson) Pablo (Andy Ewart)
Shania (Judy Mahoney)  Letitia (Victoria McPherson)  Cindie (Megan Laidler) Cheree (Caroline Bommel) Chanel (Mel Carss)  Shelley  (Zoe Payne)
Sister Mary Martin De Tours (Clare Blake) Sister Mary Theresa (Tricia Tait)

Tickets

Sister Act runs from  Tuesday 21st July until Saturday 25th July at 7pm with matinee performances at 2pm on Thursday 23rd, Friday 24thand Saturday 25th July.
 
Tickets can be purchased from the Theatre Royal Box Office on 08448 11 21 21 (all calls are charged at 7p a minute plus your phone company’s access charge, calls from mobiles may vary, please contact your operator for details) or book online at www.theatreroyal.co.uk




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