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Review - Sister Act

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Sister Act was an impressive performance by the Stevenage Lytton Players which shows how this group continues to go from strength to strength.

The singing was fabulous and well-supported by a live eleven-piece orchestra. Musical Director, Mike Payne, had clearly supported the cast with great energy and passion. The nuns were tremendous, with strong harmonies and clear-cut diction. The routines were all very energetic and well-choreographed. Everyone on stage performed with great enthusiasm and ability - it was hugely impressive to see a mass of nuns dancing across the stage.

The characterisation was wonderful, particularly amongst the nuns. It was very impressive to see the work which had gone into rehearsals to ensure that all age groups were included, and no member of the society was left out – excellent physical interpretations of age and infirmity and all accents were well defined without being caricatures.

I was particularly taken with Louise Edwards as the engaging and enthusiastic Sister Mary Patrick, Allie Neal as the surprisingly ‘up beat’ Sister Mary Lazarus and a somewhat spritely performance by Jan McGrath as Sister Mary Theresa. The whole ensemble worked hard and excellently supported the principal cast – every member on stage contributing 100%.

Lewis Harrison-Barker was loveable in the part of street cop Eddie Souter – a very engaging portrayal. “I Could Be That Guy” was one of the highlights of the show.

The role of Curtis Jackson was taken by Ross Edwards who was great as the gangland killer.

There was a huge amount of comedy from Curtis’s ‘entourage’ with excellent performances by Joe Emler as TJ, Chris Phelps as Joey, and Matthew Maylin as Pablo. The song and dance routines were great – very well done gentlemen.

Steve Wilks was perfectly cast as Monsignor O’Hara. There was both compassion and yet an energy to the delivery of his lines. Once again an experienced actor showing how versatile he can be.

It would be totally remiss of me not to emphasise the fabulous contributions of the two leading ladies – Sharon Curtis as the almost insufferable, but very entertaining Mother Superior and Gina Abbatt who gave a fantastic and powerful performance as Deloris. Along with Jessica Kolthammer as the young postulant Sister Mary Robert they all showed how much talent this company is blessed with. You sang your hearts out ladies. Thank you.

The costumes were appropriate for the production although I was a little concerned about the head wear for the nuns. These looked awkward and ill-fitting, and the men’s outfits were either too big or too small. A minor point and I am sure the audience as a whole did not notice.

The scenery and props were appropriate for this story with strong light and sound to keep this production very sharp.

It was clear everyone on stage really enjoyed being part of this production as they all demonstrated great energy and enthusiasm. I felt that the pace was very good with every performer singing and dancing to full effect. The Production Team were able to provide an inclusive and supportive environment for all the performers regardless of age or mobility and that excellent teamwork, commitment and understanding benefited all the hard work.

Congratulations to everyone involved – This was a super production from start to finish. DATE 20th May 2022 SOCIETY Stevenage Lytton Players VENUE Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage TYPE OF PRODUCTION Musical DIRECTOR Dave Slade MUSICAL DIRECTOR Mike Payne CHOREOGRAPHER Miroslava Budin

Author: Vicki Avery

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