Review - Sister Act, Royal & Derngate, Northampton

Alexandra Burke as Deloris Van Cartier. Photo by Tristram Kenton.
Alexandra Burke as Deloris Van Cartier. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

Show-stopping, hit performance Sister Act gets standing ovation from the crowd on opening night at the Northampton Royal & Derngate theatre.

It was all about 'celibate nuns shaking their buns' on stage in the opening Northampton performance of Sister Act, starring powerhouse, Alexandra Burke as Deloris Van Cartier alongside a multi-talented cast.

Company shot. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

Company shot. Photo by Tristram Kenton.

First portrayed on the big screen by Whoopi Goldberg in 1992, Deloris is the sassy soul singer who witnesses her gangster beau (Aaron Lee Lambert) kill an employee and ends up in witness protection in a convent where she learns some life lessons.

After a slow start to the performance, she soon makes friends with the on-stage saxophone, flute and trumpet playing nuns, especially the youngster, Sister Mary Robert who lacks confidence. Quite the contrary to failed pop star wannabe, Van Cartier.

However, Deloris is soon ordered to show off her vocal chords when she is asked to join the church choir after the Mother Superior catches the new nun sneaking out to a seedy bar in the night, dragging the other nuns with her.

She quickly finds the soul in the sisters’ voices and turns them into a singing triumph.

Aaron Lee Lambert as 'Curtis'

Aaron Lee Lambert as 'Curtis'

The mix of emotions within Sister Act makes it effortless to watch with the show’s fluid seam of storytelling running through it.

Set beneath convent arches, the stage plays host to a well-lit set, including a fluorescent nightclub, which gives the audience an insight into the seventies themed nights on the town.

It is quite intense at times, with gun warfare and murder but the audience soon leapt to their feet after two hours and 45 minutes of director-choreographer, Craig Revel Horwood’s inspired approach of fab-uh-lous casting.

Alan Menken’s soul-inspired tunes brought the show to life but kudos goes to the ensemble who sing, act, and dance but also provide the live music throughout the show.

Sister Act runs from Monday, March 27 to Saturday, April 1 with performances throughout the week. Alexandra Burke will only be playing Deloris for evening performances.

Tickets for the show cost from £18 to £49.50.

For further details about the show or to book tickets in advance call the box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.