Updated: Oct 24, 2019
Guest Reviewer: Christine Davidson
In these difficult times it so good to be able to go and see such an uplifting show as Sister Act. Witham Amateur Operatic Society (WAOS) gave us such a wonderful show, which on the night I was there, was an almost full house. I understand that the other nights are the same.
I had been lucky enough to be invited to their preliminary open evening when the show was at a great stage. The director, Robyn Gowers was about to have a very serious back operation and wanted it blocked and staged before she left. With the help of assistant director Gemma Gray, this show was really great fun and a joyous musical to come and watch.
Sister Act the musical, is based on the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg film comedy of the same name, it tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, an aspiring disco diva in the 1970’s. After witnessing her gangster boyfriend, Curtis, commit a murder, she is put in protective custody in a convent which is facing closure. Finding this new ‘lifestyle’ difficult, she eventually gets involved with the convent choir finding friendships and sisterhood that she has never known before.
Deloris Van Cartier (Corrina Wilson) is the mainstay of the show and is on stage almost the entire time. Corrina, as usual gave a first class performance; she gave us attitude and heart at every opportunity while both her singing and her acting skills were excellent. The energy and stamina she produced on stage was phenomenal, she was an utter delight. She deserved the standing ovation at the end of the show with all the cast. Corrina you were ‘Fabulous Baby;!!
Diana Easton, as the Mother Superior had a beautiful voice, she portrayed a strong woman who was unaccustomed to showing her emotions but had a mind of her own. She gave us a captivating performance with her songs “Here Within These Walls” and “I Haven’t got a Prayer” - a perfect Mother Superior.
Francis Garland as ‘Sweaty Eddie’, was the cop who saved Deloris and his performance was very appealing, if a little quiet sometimes on stage. His song ‘’I could be that guy’ was beautifully sung and his ‘Travolta’ costume came off without a hitch. I see he had to lose his beard for his character and I have to say he looked very handsome on stage.
David Slater played Curtis the shady villain, surrounded by his hoodlums Phillip Spurgeon (Joey), William Hackett (TJ), and Ryan Wuyts (Pablo). His solo ‘‘When I find my baby’ was great. All four provided the comedy and funniest of lines; one of the most hilarious, show stopping moments of the show was the song ‘The Lady in the Long Black Dress’
Stewart Adkins as Monsignor O’Hara was simply fantastic as the Irish priest and looked like he was really enjoying himself on stage. His excitement on reading the reviews was hilarious and I would have loved to have seen him do more on stage as he really does have stage presence and great acting ability.
The Sisters were all excellent. Emma Loring as Sister Mary Patrick gave us a bubbly fun loving nun in contrast to the grumpy, rapping Sister Mary Lazarus (Rhianna Howard). Both of them were a delight to watch. Young Mary Robert (Aimee Hart) had a superb voice for such a little lady and her song ‘The life I never lead’ was beautiful. I have seen her recently in a musical show at Latchingdon and am very impressed with her vocal range.
The nuns all sung well, providing us with uplifting numbers with good harmonies and choreography. There were fantastic colourful glitzy costumes, which really did add to the simple set and lighting design. Quick set changes from the backstage crew kept the flow of the show and the direction by Robyn and her team was excellent.
Musical Director, Emma Nash made sure that her orchestra did not overpower the singing on stage and gave us an excellent musical sound. It is very clear, watching this show, just how much rehearsal and hard work had gone into making this show such a joy to watch.
Huge congratulations to all the cast and crew. I don’t think there are many tickets left but if there are grab one as this is a real feel good show and one not to be missed.