Rejoice, as the smash-hit musical Sister Act is back in Edinburgh. Following on from a successful run in London’s West End, this revised production is full of sparkle with impressive staging and lighting, a vibrant costume design and, overall, the show is a fantastic screen-to-stage adaption, which retains the essence of the film, but enhances the story and gives it a brand-new life.
Sister Act The Musical follows club singer Deloris Van Cartier. After witnessing a murder by her boyfriend, she must go into hiding in a convent to try and protect herself from her boyfriend and his associates trying to kill her. Deloris must disguise herself as a nun and is tasked by the leader of the convent, Mother Superior, to make the choir sing. Sister Act is one of the most iconic movies of the 1990s, and Whoopi Goldberg as Deloris is in the memory of most audience members. Trying to take this iconic film and transport it to the stage is not an easy task. Thankfully, unlike some movie-to-stage adaptions, this one works well and delivers something that follows the movie touch points but reinvents it for the stage medium with a host of original songs by Tony® and 8-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken.
In this production, the lead role of Deloris Van Carter is performed by Landi Oshinowo. Landi’s version of Deloris is mature and vocally strong. In some of the show's most challenging numbers like Raise Your Voice and Fabulous Baby, Landi performs these effortlessly and has great vocal control. Her acting is believable, and overall, she delivers an excellent performance. Star of stage and screen, Leslie Joseph, steps into the role of Mother Superior, the head of the convent, and combines a good mix of humour and heart with Leslie's comedic ability being fully utilised, with her also showing a lot of emotion in the show’s softer moments. One of the most energetic sisters, Mary Patrick, famously played by Kathy Najimy in the movie version, is here played by Isabel Canning. Isabel gets the fun in the part and nails the silliness and humour in the character. Some other great performances include Lizzie Bea as the shy Sister Mary Robert, especially in the beautifully sung The Life I Never Led and Alfie Parker as Officer Eddie Souther, whose big number I Could Be That Guy, is one of the highlights of the first act. The rest of the ensemble is very well cast and delivers strong performances.
The set design for the show by Morgan Large is also impressive. Having everything played within a circular staging with stained glass windows as a backdrop transports you to the convent and makes the theatre almost feel like a church building. Tim Mitchell’s lighting design is bright and bold giving energy to the show’s larger numbers, whilst also becoming simple and more muted in the more emotional moments.
Featuring a lot of heart, comedic moments, and a brilliant score by Alan Menkin, Sister Act is the ultimate feel-good night out
Sister Act runs at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre until the 7th of October. Book tickets here: https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/all-shows/sister-act/71