REVIEW – Birmingham Hippodrome’s new life breathed into convent classic Sister Act ‘left audiences with a holy glow’

REVIEW Sister Act at the Hippodrome last night was like putting on a pair of old gloves you’ve just found – it was a happy and comfortable experience.

A walk down memory lane with generous portions of freshness.

Taking the lead in this musical tale of friendship and redemption is Landi Oshinowo, who firmly plants her own stamp on aspiring nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier.

Oshinowo simply radiated charisma right across the curtain line with twinkling eyes, widest smiles, guttural laughter and a wonderful soulful singing voice.

Picture by Mark Senior. S

For those unfamiliar with the film or stage show, in a nutshell, the plot concerns Doloris being discovered by villains who have witnessed a murder by their trigger-happy leader of thieves. She is placed in protective custody in a crumbling convent, all but forgotten, until she is needed to testify.

Ian Gareth-Jones brings a bad boy cool to Curtis Jackson, the mobster wants to stop her testifying, and Alfie Parker delivers a heist scene as Eddie Souther, her good, chubby, lovelorn cop.

Picture by Mark Senior. S

Sharing the joint headline is Coronation Street legend Sue Cleaver as Mother Superior. She makes a powerful journey from prudish to proud; being the last of the nuns to fall under the intoxicating spell that Deloris brings to their holy order.

Amid the merriment and mayhem Dolores unleashes on the sisters, she turns the chorus from a “turn your ears” cacophony to a “clap your hands, get down and party while God smiles on you.”

Special highlights from me from the all-together cast are Phillip Arran making the most cheerful Monsignor O’Hara, Eloise Runnette as Sister Mary Robert who brought down the house with The Life I Never Led and Julie Stark as the Street Funnyman. wise sister Maria Lazar.

Picture by Mark Senior. S

Morgan Large’s costumes added another dimension where the nuns, cops and villains are all dressed up at the end in stunning and brilliant renditions of their day clothes.

This Sister Act tour, imaginatively directed by Bill Buckhurst with a brilliant band under musical director Tom Slade is another triumph for Leicester’s Curve Theater as they co-produce.

New life breathed into a modern classic – like the rest of the audience, I went home glowing.

Sister Act runs at Birmingham Racecourse until Sunday 18 May. Click here for timetables, tickets and more information.

Review by Euan Rose

Euan Rose Reviews