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Sister Act - Theatre Royal, Nottingham Review

Writer: Mark Johnson

The lyrics "Look at me, can't you see, I'm fabulous baby!" brilliantly encapsulates Sister Act The Musical. The blessed musical arrives in Nottingham as part of its UK and Ireland Tour.

The Company of Sister Act. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

The musical is based on the cult 1992 film of the same title that starred Whoopi Goldberg as Deloris Van Cartier, a nightclub singer who is forced to hide out in a convent after witnessing her partner commit murder.

The stage adaptation brings all the brilliance of the film and ramps it up with a delightful score disco and gospel infused by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater. Sure some of the comedy is completely ridiculous but it’s never not smile inducing fun.

Sandra Marvin excels as Deloris and is casting perfection. Marvin has a hoot throughout and delights with a huge vocal performance as well as having a strong emotional core. As an audience you root for her instantly. She makes lovely believable connections with the nuns and Clive Rowe’s policeman Eddie Souther. Rowe’s own vocals are excellent in his solo ‘I Could Be That Guy.’

Lesley Joseph relishes in being Mother Superior who clashes with Deloris and her rule breaking ways. She is delightfully comedic with a clever eye for how to deliver certain lines to give maximum effect. Joseph sings superbly too with real feeling in the words.

Sandra Marvin as Deloris Van Cartier. Photo by Manuel Harlan.

The nuns are all outstandingly captured with individuality that means each has a chance to shine and stand out but Lizzie Bea with her remarkable show stopping ‘The Life I Never Led’ draws the loudest reaction of the performance. Bea’s Sister Mary Robert grows and grows in confidence as the show goes on and is endlessly watchable. 

Catherine Millsom as Sister Mary Patrick, Anne Smith as Sister Mary Lazarus and Tricia Deighton as Sister Mary Theresa all have stand out moments but this truly is an ensemble that work together really well.

Mark Goldthorp has a great time hamming it up as baddie Curtis Jackson with Damian Buhagair as Pablo, Tom Hopcroft as Joey and Bradley Judge as TJ offering great supporting tom-foolery as his cronies with excellent vocals in ‘The Lady In The Long Black Dress.’

Morgan Large's set is excellent in setting the location for each scene and his costume design throughout is impressive, especially in the all glitter finale. Tim Mitchell's impressive lighting adds texture, warmth, danger to the piece and a rainbow of colours that adds to the disco feel.

At the core of the production is the message of friendship and the ‘Sister Act’ that is formed. As the curtain falls you leave with a huge sense of elation after delighting entertainment. This production is simply good for the soul. An uplifting life affirming joy. 

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Sister Act plays at Nottingham's Theatre Royal until Saturday 13th May 2023. Tickets are available from The UK and Ireland tour continues through until May 2024 with a London run at the Dominion Theatre from March 2024. More information and dates can be found at

Lizzie Bea as Sister Mary Robert. Photo Manuel Harlan.

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