THEATRE REVIEW: Young actors present a fun-packed musical masterpiece

Sister Act: The Musical, Performed by Act II Theatre Company at South Holland Centre, Spalding. Photo supplied by Act II Theatre Company.

Sister Act: The Musical, Performed by Act II Theatre Company at South Holland Centre, Spalding

Sister Act was - and still is - one of my favourite movies. I love the soundtrack, the uplifting gospel music, the inspiring story, and the laughs – not to mention Whoopi Goldberg’s sassy and fun character.

So when I saw Sister Act was coming to the stage in Spalding, I jumped at the chance to see it.

This was a musical production based on the original film and staged by Act II Theatre Company, with a cast of more than 50 children aged from 11-18.

Taking the lead of lounge singer Deloris Van Cartier/Sister Mary Clarence was the excellent Ashleigh Mills, an established performer with Act II.

Whoopi Goldberg was always going to be a hard act to follow but Ashleigh did a fantastic job.

She burst onto the stage at the South Holland Centre full of confidence - singing the rousing, soulful disco vibes of the first musical number ‘Take Me to Heaven’.

She even adopted an authentic American accent which I couldn’t believe wasn’t her real accent.

Taking the role of the strict Mother Superior was Diana Chareviciute.

Her character reluctantly agrees to hide Deloris in her convent after the singer witnesses a shooting by her gangster boyfriend Curtis.

Deloris, equally reluctant to join ‘a bunch of nuns’ goes on to become a great success, transforming the dowdy, out-of-tune convent choir into a hand-clapping, gospel-inspired, ‘fabulous’ group of performers.

Diana was great in the role, giving us some classic facial expressions and has a singing voice that is sure to be heard on the West End in the near future.

Curtis, played by Andrew Lucas, and his gangster crew T.J. (Harry Smith), Joey (Zak Franklin), and Pablo (Joe Smith) brought cheeky character to their roles. Joe even had to learn to speak Spanish for his role.

In her director’s notes Charlotte Gernert said the heart of the show is the singing and she has “really pushed the group with putting in more harmonies than they’ve ever had in a music theatre show”.

All that rehearsing and work paid off. I loved the show and no part of it dragged at all.

Interspersed with live chase scenes, where Deloris tries to flee Curtis and his crew down the aisles, comedy and toe-tapping tunes, this was a fun-packed musical masterpiece.

Great work from Act II, the talented live band and all behind the scenes.

Review by Zoe Myall

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