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Sister Act is a really fun show, but I felt that although some of the humour was brought out, there were cases where I expected more.
The set suited the piece, and I liked the use of flats for the police station etc, I wasn’t too fond of the blackouts, it would have been nice to have some smoother transitions at times.
I mostly liked the lighting, again it enhanced the production by creating atmosphere, however I am not a fan of backlighting that shines into the audience. The opening song was a little spoiled by the lighting, which created a haze, so that we couldn’t see the singers properly.
The costumes were excellent – they looked fresh and colourful, fitted well, and the wigs were good too. Eddie’s change from police uniform to white suit with red shirt, back to police uniform was very nicely managed.
Overall I thought the production lacked some pace and energy – it needed stepping up a notch. This was not helped by the blackouts, which broke the flow of action.
The band performed well, hidden under the stage – and the sound balance was good. However, despite there being a screen by the stage showing the conductor, it is always more difficult for the cast to react to direction when the MD isn’t very visible.
Edlin Somorin as Deloris van Cartier, sang the part really well, a deep rich voice
that was well-
Gill Pigram and Kay Ward as the backing singers Michelle and Tina, were delightfully girly in their pink dresses, and acted their parts well with loads of energy.
I was particularly taken with Louise Thonger as Sister Mary Lazarus, a lovely role that Louise gave full attention to, singing and acting the part with gusto, creating a very feisty character that I loved.
Sister Mary Robert, the postulant, was very well played by Sarah Johnson. I believed her doubts and loved her rendition of The Life I Never Led – very meaningful and a very strong tuneful voice.
The chorus of Nuns as a whole sang very well, the harmonies and general standard was very good.
Lisa Fitzgerald played the Mother Superior, very precise in her diction, perhaps a little too precise, as it made her seem a little cold. I also felt her mic was sometimes too loud, it made her sound a little too forceful. Lovely voice, which suited Here Within These Walls very well.
I needed Curtis (Carl Robinson) to be much more nasty, as a contrast to the other characters, he was rather laid back for a gangster who was killing people.
So much fun could be got from Curtis’s henchmen, but I thought Brian Carroll (TJ), Matt Clothier (Joey) and Gavin Anderson (Pablo), were very laid back. I’m not sure whether this was a directorial decision, but I needed the contrast of the grim and rotten gangsters against the lovely heavenly feel of the nuns.
James Russell dealt well with the part of Eddie, and although I enjoyed his number (I Could Be That Guy), I felt it needed a little more pace, as he couldn’t get a really deep feel to it.
Antonia Anderson was a lovely cheery Sister Mary Patrick, such a bright smiley face and light touch to her portrayal, made me feel good.
Amanda Gaines created a lovely character for Sister Mary Theresa, as did Steph Gimblett for Sister Mary of Tours.
Nick Partington played the part of Monsignor O’Hara, with just the right amount of reverence, he interacted well with the Mother Superior, and I liked his colourful vestments.
There was a lot to commend this production, which I enjoyed.
Harpenden Light Opera Society
review date:7th October 2017
at Harpenden Public Halls
Director: Iain Fowles
MD: Mike Payne Choreographer: Gisele Yoh Fowles