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REVIEW: Sister Act (UK Tour, Glasgow 2024)

Sister Act

Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Glenn Slater; Book by Cheri Steinkellner & Bill Steinkellner

Directed by Bill Buckhurst


29 April 2024

The King's Theatre, Glasgow

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sister Act musical UK tour 2024

When club singer Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder on the streets of Philadelphia, the police hide her in a convent to keep her safe whilst she waits to testify at trial. Within the walls of the church Deloris not only finds protection but a new sisterhood; and in turn, she helps their struggling choir to find some soul.


Based on the 1992 comedy film, Sister Act the musical follows the same plot as the film, but with entirely different music.


Let's address this upfront as I heard people talking about this as we left the theatre last night:


The hit song from the Whoopi Goldberg film 'I will Follow Him' does not feature in the musical. I too was disappointed with that omission when I first saw the stage show some years ago. It's such an iconic tune synonymous with Sister Act. However, I assume there is a rights issue preventing its use.


Now on my third visit to Sister Act on stage I find I don't miss it, because what the musical does have is an original score by Disney legend, Tony and Oscar winner Alan Menken inspired by Motown, soul and disco. The show has its own big hitting, show stopping tunes in the form of 'Take Me to Heaven', 'Fabulous, Baby' and 'Raise Your Voice.' All played live by a fantastic orchestra and sung with glee by a magnificent cast.


Sue Cleaver and the cast of Sister Act the musical. Credit: Mark Senior

Joining the cast as Mother Superior in Glasgow, Coronation Street's Sue Cleaver (better known as Eileen Grimshaw) is a fantastic, regal, mother figure to the motley crew of nuns. In her first stage role in over 30 years, Cleaver impresses with a confident performance, a beautiful clear speaking voice and her trademark warmth and humour. I really hope we get to see more of this much-loved actor on our stages again soon.


Leading the show in the role of disco diva Deloris, West End star Landi Oshinowo is spectacular as the foul mouthed, hard-living songstress. Her voice is powerful and smooth, and her comic timing is immaculate. In her hands Deloris is spirited, but sweet - and hilarious. She easily had the audience on her side rooting for her success, and her vocals brought the house down.


Landi Oshinowo in Sister Act the musical. Credit: Mark Senior

A nightclub singer who finds herself forced to live like a nun is such a fun scenario for a musical (or a film!) And Sister Act on stage does have a solid plot which unfolds nicely in the 2 hour run time. Filled with interesting characters, genuine drama and plenty of comedy, this musical is sure to hold even the shortest of attention spans.


The nuns are the highlight of the show for me, and the musical really comes to life when they start to find their voices and sing in harmony. I had goosebumps during 'Raise Your Voice' - it's simply joyous. Each nun has their own personality and unique character traits - they are more than just backing singers: they're well written, well acted roles, and they provide many of the best comedic moments in the show.


Landi Oshinowo and Sue Cleaver in Sister Act the musical. Credit: Mark Senior

I love how this musical makes use of colour too. At that start Deloris is bright and colourful, whist the nuns and their convent are literally black and white. As the story progresses, and they start to rub off on each other, well, without saying too much - that changes! It very cleverly done.


The set is pretty static, but the stained-glass window designs are a lovely touch, and it's all brought to life by Tim Mitchell's superb lighting design. I do love when lighting accentuates beats of the music; so satisfying! The costumes are stunning too with fine attention to detail throughout. From the white trim of Mother Superior's robes to the abundance of sequins in the dazzling finale, they're all well fitted and very beautiful.


Sister Act the musical is an uplifting, fun, musical comedy. With a cast of loveable characters and the divine duo of Sue Cleaver and Landi Oshinowo at the helm, this new touring version of the production is as strong as it's ever been.


We are blessed to have Sister Act at the King's Theatre, Glasgow until Sat 4th May 2024.


⭐⭐⭐⭐


Sue Cleaver said, ‘‘I’m thrilled to be stepping into the habit and joining the incredible company of Sister Act on tour. It’s been over 30-years since I’ve been on stage, but theatre has always been my first love. A chance to take on a role like this feels like heaven.”



 

Sister Act Cast (UK Tour 2024, Glasgow)


Landi Oshinowo Deloris Van Cartier

Sue Cleaver Mother Superior

Alfie Parker  Eddie Souther

Eloise Runnette Sister Mary Robert

Ian Gareth-Jones  Curtis Jackson

Julie Stark Sister Mary Lazarus

Isabel Canning Sister Mary Patrick

Phillip Arran Monsignor O'Hara

Kate Powell Sister Mary Martin of Tours

Wendy-Lee Purdy Sister Mary Theresa

Elliot Gooch TJ

Michalis Antoniou Pablo

Callum Martin Joey

Esme Laudat Michelle

Amber Kennedy Tina

Harvey Ebbage Clemont


Ensemble / swings:

Joseph Connor, Ceris Hine, Sheri Lineham, Corrine Priest and Samuel John-Humphrey's


Sister Act has direction by Bill Buckhurst, choreography by Alistair David, Set and Costume Design by Morgan Large, Lighting Design by Tim Mitchell, Sound Design by Tom Marshall and Musical Supervision by Stephen Brooker. Casting is by Stuart Burt


📸 Production photos: Mark Senior


Alfie Parker and the cast of Sister Act the musical. Credit: Mark Senior

 

Sister Act Tour dates and venues (UK Tour 2024)


Sister Act is at the King's Theatre, Glasgow until Sat 4th May 2024.


Sister Act

The King’s Theatre, Glasgow

Tue 29 Apr – Sat 4 May 2024

Mon – Sat: 7:30pm

Wed & Sat: 2:30pm


🎟️ York, Torquay and Liverpool: Tickets: www.atgtickets.com



 

Sister Act review, UK Tour at King's Theatre, Glasgow April 2024. Musical Theatre, Landi Oshinowo, Sue Cleaver.


🎟️ Disclosure: I was invited to review this show and received a complimentary ticket in exchange. Neither the venue nor show has a say in what I write. I'm completely independent and invites have no impact on my analysis or star ratings.



📸 Find Lisa in the Theatre on Instagram and Twitter / X


Lisa in the theatre. Scottish theatre reviewer. UK theatre blog. Glasgow Theatre. Edinburgh Theatre. Scotland theatre.

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