Review: Sister Act, Ipswich Regent, to November 5
- Credit: ©Tristram Kenton
Record-breaking X Factor winner Alexandra Burke raised the roof in a spellbinding performance as Deloris Van Cartier.
Based on the hit film by Joseph Howard, adapted from the book by Cherri and Bill Steinkellner and with original music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, the show is directed by Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood who’s certainly put his fab-u-lous stamp on the production.
From the impressive church setting - which changed seamlessly between pieces - and the glorious lighting and uplifting choruses, Sister Act was a class act that had the whole audience on their feet by the dazzling finale.
Burke commanded the stage with finesse and although I wasn’t convinced by her acting in the opening scenes, she soon fell into character, being sassy, sexy and hilarious all at the same time. There was no doubting her singing talent from the very first notes of foot-stomper Take Me To Heaven, followed by Fabulous, Baby!
What a voice. The star held the audience in rapture with her smoky deep, mellow tones, rising in a crescendo to hit and hold beautiful notes effortlessly. All the arrangements featuring Burke perfectly showcased the depth and nuances of her vocal range.
The addition of glitterballs dispersing light around the theatre for many of the numbers only added to the magic of the music.
Aaron Lee Lambert as Deloris’ dangerous beau brought comic relief with his gang of crooks, whose hilarious number Lady in the Long Black Dress had us crying with laughter.
- 1 'I slept at the store' - Teen queues for 14 hours as Tim Hortons opens
- 2 Cyclist left with 'potentially life-changing injuries' after Ipswich crash
- 3 Teenager 'kicked and punched' by man during Ipswich assault
- 4 Tragic loss of 'kind and gentle' Aayush at 17 devastated family
- 5 CCTV appeal after cash stolen from ATM dispensing tray at Ipswich store
- 6 Wallet and cash stolen as two more cars have windows smashed in in Ipswich
- 7 Appeal to trace driver after cyclist knocked unconscious in crash
- 8 Man, 25, threatened to kill ex-partner with wrench, court hears
- 9 Police warning after Suffolk driver speeds at 126mph
- 10 Thatch roof of cottage 'fully alight' in village near Needham Market
Further humour was found in Jon Robyns’ turn as cop Sweaty Eddie too. He played the character with just the right amount of humility and fun, and was a double act to Burke’s star on the night. We especially loved his jazzy number I Could Be That Guy. Look out for the costume changes.
As for the line-up of nuns? Their characters took me back to when I was a girl watching the film for the first time. Each was spot on and they really made the show, giving it heart, charm and hilarious comic breaks with their naughty but nice one-liners and brutally awful singing - pre-Deloris, of course.
From start to finish Sister Act was a total joy. Uplifting, full of musical joie de vivre and packed with soul. That many of the ensemble and leads played instruments on stage throughout too only added to what was a brilliant that really shouldn’t be missed.
Read our interview with Burke here.