Easter Monday at the Millennium Centre was certainly in for divine intervention when the West End and film hit ‘Sister Act’ took to the stage in spectacular style. This was down to Deloris Van Cartier played with a high dose of sass and command by soul singer and X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke.
For those unfamiliar with the plot it is very easy to follow and no big surprises. Deloris Van Cartier finds herself becoming a nun on the run having witnessed a murder by her married lover and manager of the club she performs at. Deloris is taken to the nunnery by police officer aptly named ‘Sweaty Eddie’, to begin her ‘quiet’ stay but things do not exactly go to plan! Aside from the hilarity of the plot, the real star of the show is the music and outstanding vocal performances from the cast; in particular Alexandra Burke playing Deloris Van Cartier and Sarah Goggin playing Sister Mary Roberts. I was very pleasantly surprised by Burke’s acting abilities and her comic timing. Burke is far more than a phenomenal voice; she is a very talented performer on all levels.
I was initially worried that I wouldn’t enjoy the differing music from the film but I was very impressed with the original music by Tony® and 8-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Disney’s Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, Newsies, Enchanted). The holy and heavenly theme in the music was timed perfectly for its Easter showcase in Cardiff this weekend. The original music score allowed lesser known characters in the film version to really take centre stage in particular the character of Curtis played by Aaron Lee Lambert and his ‘henchmen’ who were more like immature school boys than tough baddies. They did provide many laughs amongst the audience in a musical number when they tried to pursue the nuns to no success as you can imagine!
The real strengths of the show are the vocal talents on full display and not just the main cast but the strong ensemble who looked like they had already had few nights run of the show and not just this opening night; the commitment and energy was a pleasure to witness. When a West End show is adapted from a well-loved film there is always the initial hesitation that it can be a success but this adaptation proved to be a real hit even amongst the hard-core Sister Act film fans.
It was great to see the audience enjoying every moment of the show and I would really recommend that groups of friends and families who enjoy a big musical bonanza book your tickets immediately. It is a great night out so clear your vocal chords and get ready to be dazzled by the cast who really are second to nun!
Sister Act runs until 29th April at the Wales Millennium Centre.