Sister Act Review: Fun vibrant Sister Act gets deserved standing ovation

Graham Macduff as Monsignor O'Hara (Photo by Manuel Harlan)

Sister Act is a fun, vibrant, sparkly and uplifting show and the audience thought so too because their cheers at the end brought the house down.

Sister Act the Musical opened at Oxford’s New Theatre last night and the cast thoroughly deserved their standing ovation.

Set in Philadelphia in 1977, Sister Act is the story of lounge singer Deloris whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder and is placed in witness protection – in a convent! A nun’s life is a huge shock for Deloris – but she finds her feet helping the convent’s struggling choir to find their true voices. As much as this story is funny, it’s also a wonderful tale of love and friendship found in the most unexpected places.

SISTER ACT. Sandra Marvin Deloris Van Cartier. Photo by Manuel Harlan36280
Sandra Marvin as Deloris, Photo Manuel Harlan

Sandra Marvin was fabulous as Deloris – the same character played by Whoopi Goldberg in the smash-hit movie version of this show. Sandra played Deloris to a tee – we loved her full-of-life exaggerated character, her hilarious one-liners, tongue in cheek jokes and her amazing voice.

Equally as impressive was Lesley Joseph who played Mother Superior – her first words were ‘Oh crap’ and from then on she had us laughing out loud to her hilarious quips. And the scene where she shaves…

But this was not a show where the two main stars stole all the thunder – this entire cast were talented and entertaining. Alfie Parker, who plays Eddie Southern, Deloris’ former school friend and the cop assigned to protect her, was an audience favourite. Back in school he had a secret crush on her and now she’s back – so is his crush. Watch out for his sparkly reveal during his number ‘I could be that guy’ as he sings about being cool and impressing Deloris.

There are so many great moments in this show – we were smiling throughout – look out for Curtis Jackson’s (played by Mark Goldthorp) threats as he performs  ‘When I find my Baby’. While the transformation of Postulant Sister Mary Robert, played by Iizzie Bea, who wailed like an alley cat until Deloris took her in hand was mesmerizing.

If you are free this week you can catch Sister Act the Musical at the New Theatre, Oxford, until Saturday, for tickets view: