Review: Sister Act, Belper Musical Theatre

Who needs the West End when you can experience the full razzamatazz theatrical extravaganza on your doorstep thanks to Belper Musical Theatre with their latest show Sister Act.

This talented group of performers never disappoint so it is no surprise that tickets to their shows sell like hot cakes and they are regularly nominated for the coveted Eagle Awards in Derby.

If they don’t win something this year for this show I will be amazed, as it was packed with oomph and passion. The energy of the cast was intoxicating – I am not sure how they can keep that up for one evening let alone a run of four days.

This show is a feel-amazing musical with body-rocking songs and the perfect cheesy storyline that will bring a smile to your face and have you top-tapping in the aisles.

The plot is of course very silly, but great fun, and follows the adventures of a brassy singer, Deloris Van Cartier who unintentionally, becomes a witness to a murder by her gangster boyfriend. To keep her alive the police stow the diva in the least likely of places – a strict convent.

There Deloris finds another calling by taking over the dull choir rehearsals and turning the tone-deaf nuns into disco sensations.

As the raunchy soul diva on the run, Jen Lewis is herself a sensation and deserves to take the plaudit of star of the show. Her voice, comic timing and sheer vitality could not be faulted.

As for the rest of the cast there were so many outstanding performances it is hard to pick anyone out, but I am going to mention Andrew Buxton as ‘Sweaty Eddie’ the policeman, Anne Dunning as Mother Superior and Jess Hutton as Sister Mary Robert, who all gave memorable renditions from the show’s song list.

Oh, and then there was the trio of gangland henchmen Joey (Reuben Dykes) TJ (Daniel Shaw) and Pablo (Richard Stonier), who had the audience in stitches.

It was great to see musical director Dave Adey and his fabulous orchestra actually on stage as part of the show and the stage crew did a marvellous job of seamlessly moving around the very effective set.  As always with this group the lighting and sound were also impressive.

This is a glitzy show that shouldn’t be missed if you can still get a ticket. It is on at Belper Community Theatre at Belper School until February 24. For tickets go to http://www.belpermusicaltheatre.co.uk

The director is Becky Pearcy and the choreographer Fiona Carratu.

The rest of the cast not mentioned are Phil Stanley, Sarah Stone, Paula Winning, Steve Dunning, Remi Hines, Isobel Davidson, Sarah Jackson, Millie Shawcross, Pete Bostock, Megan Gibson, Emma Davies, Sharon Stringer, Lucy Taylor, Cavan Carey, Elizabeth Brooks, Kirsty Williams, Jan Outram, Nicola Slack, Mark Jennison, Kat Adey, Chris Varney, Alison Walker and Gill Hutton.

The orchestra are Helen Shelton, Jeff Widdowson, Phil Reckless, Nick Stacey, Helen Wallace, Jo Eyley and Guy Burrows.

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