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Sister Act - Milton Keynes Theatre

Praise the lord; Sister Act is at Milton Keynes Theatre this week. If you need a show that is funny, feel good and probably approved by the Lord himself,* this is it. (*I am making an assumption here that God would love this show. After all, what’s not to like?!).

It’s the end of 1977 and Deloris is a struggling singer in Philadelphia. When she witnesses her married boyfriend kill someone, she runs to the police for protection. They hide her in a nunnery and its that juxtaposition of her exuberant personality against the quiet contemplation of the nuns that make this show so much fun to watch. That and the nun’s singing of course. The story follows the same outline as the first sister act film, starring Whoopi Goldberg, but this stage show has been sprinkled with the musical wand and features a range of fabulous songs including, Take Me To Heaven, Fabulous Baby!, I Could Be That Guy and Raise Your Voice.

Sandra Marvin plays Deloris, and she really delivers in abundance. This woman is soulful, joyful and gives an energy to the show that spreads throughout the cast and the audience like love. Mother Superior played the amazing Lesley Joseph is superb. She clearly has funny bones, and her comic timing is on point. There is a moment when she is praying to God and stops here and there to shave her face from the odd hair. Lesley Joseph makes a perfect nun. If you love her performance, she is also starring in this year’s panto at Milton Keynes Theatre, so we are doubly blessed in Milton Keynes.

All the cast are exceptional. The young shy postulate sister Mary Robert is played by Lizzie Bea is fabulous. She delivers her shy demeanour for most of the show but wow what a voice that shy nun has when she finally lets it out. Steady Eddie is played by Graham Macduff, and he is the quiet hero. Eddie was at school with Deloris and still carries a torch for her. I Could Be That Guy is a great number about how Eddie wants to be the man Deloris might love. I loved the choreography for this number. Not only does he end up in a white disco outfit, a la Saturday Night Fever but his fellow police officers are wearing helmets like disco balls.

The baddie we all like to hate (and yes he did get booed at curtain call) is Curtis, played by Jeremy Secomb. When I Find My Baby is a great soul classic and sounds like a love song until you listen to the lyrics and realise Curtis is singing about killing Deloris. Curtis has three henchmen, Pablo (Damian Buhagiar), Joey (Tom Hopcroft) and TJ (Bradley Judge) who are funny and brilliant as backing singers to Curtis in his number, but also show their talents in a number called Lady In The Long Black Dress which is about how to woo a nun. Yep, that’s what I said.

This fabulous show with an extraordinarily talented cast are complimented by a full orchestra, which for me, lifts the show to another level. You leave the theatre feeling happier and a little closer to God. This truly heavenly musical is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 26 November 2022.


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