The singing, if not very tuneful nuns of The Little Sisters of Our Mother of Perpetual Faith in dire need of the Deloris choral touch
BILLED as A Divine Musical Comedy this production is an extravaganza of ecclesiastical energy.
From the opening, when we encounter Deloris Van Cartier, (Alexandra Burke), auditioning in the sleazy Curtis nightclub, the impact and enthusiasm delivered by the talented cast hits the capacity audience with a bang!
Having witnessed a shooting by the club owner Curtis, Deloris, fearful of her own life, needs to find a safe refuge, so, the local convent provides the ideal hideaway.
She quickly becomes friends with the nuns, but when she hears their choral cacophony she springs into action, teaching them how to sing with soul and angelic perfection.
Alas, Mother Superior, beautifully played by Karen Mann, is not impressed by the transformation
However, as the sisters notoriety grows and the congregations increase, much needed revenue is generated, thus ensuring the future of the cash strapped church
Mission accomplished Deloris! The gothic interior of the church, as the main set, seamlessly changes into other locations with use of clever lighting and minimal props
A gallery, high above the cloisters, houses the musicians and an ingenious addition to this production was the live playing of various instruments by the company of nuns throughout the show. What a brilliant concept.
With direction and choreography by Craig Revel Horwood, this ever-popular show reaches heavenly heights with a fresh, inventive presentation. Superior darling!
Alexandra Burke as Deloris van
Alexandra Burke as Deloris van Cartier
Alexandra Burke, who rose to fame as winner of The X Factor in 2008 is Deloris Van Cartier and her powerful vocals echo with resonance and emotion, but it's not just her singing that give this performance star quality, boy, can this sister act!
Joe Vetch as Eddie the cop, does a great Travolta inspired routine that had zip and terrific costume changes and accompanied by the ensemble, this was a particularly hilarious scene
So many highlights to enjoy in this joyous, uplifting show; Aaron Lee Lambert as the menacing gangster Curtis; his band of criminal sidekicks; the swinging sisters and great musicians pieced together a fabulous show
Credit also to the production team, and the band. Humour, pathos, love, murder, glittering habits! This show has it all
If you haven't seen it before, or want to experience a 'reincarnation,' pop along to The Grand. We truly confess, you won't be disappointed. To 04-03-17.
Elizabeth M. Smith and Rosemary Manjunath
And from the cloisters . . .
OH sister! What a performance from Alexandra Burke in this so happy musical directed and choreographed by the talented Craig Revel Horwood.
The 2008 X Factor winner has really blossomed into a great performer, and she leads the show from the front with her wonderful voice and ability to turn on the comedy.
Horwood has created an impressive stage version of the famous Whoopi Goldberg movie which, after a somewhat uneasy opening, eventually bursts into life with enjoyable tunes and powerful singing from a fine cast.
Alexandra plays aspiring disco diva Deloris van Cartier who, after seeing her gangster boyfriend. Curtis, (Aaron Lee Lambert) gun down a police informer, becomes a target herself and the local cops decide the best place to hide her for a while is in the local convent.
It’s not an arrangement that pleases the Mother Superior, beautifully played by Karen Mann, who decides to punish the wayward visitor by putting her in charge of the awful convent choir whose screeching attempts to sing at first are enough to send the theatre audiences heading for the exits.
But, under her new name, Sister Mary Clarence, the dodgy diva gradually whips them into shape with so much success that the ailing convent, threatened with closure, gets a new lease of life and even an invitation to sing for the Pope!
Horwood has enjoyed much success with actors able to play musical instruments on stage, and the system works well in his show too, with some of the nuns impressive with saxophones, a flute, and banjo, while Mother Superior is a Godsend on the trumpet.
There are fine performances from Joe Vetch, playing Eddie the cop with the hideaway plot, who has a excellent voice and managers to switch his appearance in the blink of an eye to an Elvis lookalike and back again to a lawman.
Eventually the crooks track down Deloris but all’s well that ends well in a rousing finale.