Interview: Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood talks Sister Act ahead of Northampton dates

Craig Revel Horwood and Alexandra Burke
Craig Revel Horwood and Alexandra Burke

All good things come to those who wait. That is very much the motto of Craig Revel Horwood when it comes to his ambition to be part of the Sister Act phenomenon.

The feel-good story of Deloris Van Cartier’s journey has delighted millions and is sure to delight audiences at Northampton’s Royal & Derngate later this month.
First portrayed on the big screen by Whoopi Goldberg, Deloris is the sassy soul singer who witnesses a shooting and ends up in protective custody in a convent where she learn some life lessons.
He was initially asked to do some work on the West End production but that did not work out for him. When plans for the current tour came up, he jumped at it.
Craig recalled: “I was absolutely delighted because it gives me the chance to fulfil a nine-year ambition. The story is really, really good. That is the number one thing for me.
“The songs are great, the music is great, the lyrics are great and the plot has this wonderful, wonderful heart which is what I love about it.”
Heading the cast is Alexandra Burke, who shot to fame on The X Factor becoming a top recording star. And while her singing is not in doubt, it has unleashed another of her talents.
He explained: “Alexandra is a natural comedian and people have never seen that side of her. It is really wonderful for her to get stuck into some comedy and it really suits her down to the ground.
“Of course, this show has fantastic vocals as you can imagine. It is so lovely that Alexandra was available and wanted to do this show. She is also a brilliant movern and dancer and fits into the company brilliantly well.
“We are doing it as an ensemble piece. Everyone plays different characters. They are actors/musicians so they sing, they act, they dance but they also provide the music because they play instruments. I do have to say though that it is quite an alarming sight watching a nun with a axophone,” chuckled Craig.
And while nuns are essential to Sister Act, they do have their limitations.
Craig said: “The problem bis that a lot of the cast are in habits. As well as choreography, you need to do lots of arm-ography too and there is a lot that nuns cannot do so you have to be quite inventive with it all which I am really enjoying.”
This mix of emotions within Sister Act also makes it a real joy for Craig with the great music and the show’s rich seam of storytelling running through it.
He said: “We are getting into the world of gospel music which is uplifting and will give you a big smile on your face. The show does have a dark side too and it is quite intense in places with gun warfare, murder, and of course love. It is a really good story and it cover every human emotion.”
lve dancing on a Saturday night.
The small-screen juggernaut that gets the nation talking and lets us judge whether the celebrity contestants are dynamic divas and dashing devils of the dancefloor, or more of a dad-dancer.
While many have competed for the highly-sought- after Glitterball, there are still a few big names that Craig would like to see in action.
He said: “I would love to see Simon Cowell on there as it would make great television. Sharon Osbourne would be great too as she is so mouthy. The Royals would be good. Prince Harry? Yes please.”
But what about if they answer back? Everyone knows Simon does not stand on ceremony and gives as good as he gets, and Prince Harry could have Craig sent to the Tower.
With a belly-laugh, he retorts: “I like feisty. Why not?”
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 peformances.
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.

Alexandra Burke getting into the habit.

Alexandra Burke getting into the habit.

Sister Act starring Alexandra Burke

Sister Act starring Alexandra Burke

Sister Act The Musical coming to Northampton

Sister Act The Musical coming to Northampton