Alexandra Burke as Deloris Van Cartier

Alexandra Burke as Deloris Van Cartier

When I was invited to see Sister Act at the Liverpool Empire Theatre, I was thrilled. I love both movies and was confident that it was going to go straight to my top five.

If you're unfamiliar with the story- Delores Van Cartier is a singer who witnesses her boyfriend- Curtis (Aaron Lee Lambert) murder one of his boys who he believes to have gone to the police. To keep her safe- she is sent by Officer Eddie (Jon Robyns) to the last place her partner will ever think to look for her- a convent.

The nuns who reside there form the basis of the church choir but need a lot of help and Deloris is tasked by the Mother Superior (Karen Mann) to listen to each other and help them work as a team.

If you are going in the hope that Sister Act on stage will follow the same format as the movie- ala Dirty Dancing- like I did- you will be sorely disappointed. If you go expecting a brand new take on a beloved nineties movie- you will get more out of the experience.

Although the story loosely follows the one of the film, it takes some artistic licence and adds in new elements- such as an unexpected romance between Deloris and cop 'Sweaty Eddie'.

The original score brought something different to the show but I was hoping they would include one of the more well-known songs from the movie. A dose of 'My Guy', 'Just a Touch of Love' or 'Rescue Me'- but alas- there was no familiarity to the songs at all which made it hard to tap along to. I was holding out for the finale to include a tune we could all sing along to but this never happened and I was left feeling a little deflated.

Alexandra Burke was on top form as she always is. Although there were snapshots of Whoopi's version of the character with familiar lines and gestures- she made it her own and brought her unique brand of comedy to the part. I could listen to her vocals all day long- this woman can do no wrong when she's on stage.

There needs to be an obvious transition from bad to good in the nun's singing abilities- its integral to the story, however, this element was overdone on stage and made it difficult to listen to at times.

With that said- most of the cast not only acted and sang- but also played an instrument- so I am in no doubt that a lot of hard work went into this performance as a result.

If you are curious about this production- you are better going into it with an open mind and put the movie to one side. You can easily identify the key characters but this production is more of a stand-alone piece- much like Wicked is. Go and make up your own mind but leave any preconceptions at the door and simply take it for what it is.


by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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