Who doesn’t love Sister Act? When Quarry Bank Musical Theatre Society invited us along to their production of the hit show we couldn’t wait.
The musical based on the hit 1992 film featuring Whoopi Goldberg as the iconic Deloris Van Cartier, features original music by Tony and Oscar award winner Alan Menken. With lyrics by Glenn Slater, book by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner, Sister Act the musical brings this much loved film to the stage.
QBMTS (Quarry Bank Musical Theatre Society) were formed in 1962 and have staged many musical shows from Oklahoma to Midlands Amateur premieres such as Camelot in 1976. The company have been performing at Brierley Hill Civil Hall for four years. The society, which was renamed in 2013 as QBMTS, has been donating money to local charities from its annual productions over their years of performing.
This production was produced by Steve Ganner with direction and choreography by Zoe Russell. The musical direction from Richard Ganner made this energetic score come to life with the Sister Act orchestra. This was our first time watching this company and what a joy it was! The quality of this production, from the vibrant costumes, spirited choreography to the impressive set production, elevated this already triumphant production.
The ensemble cast were one of the best I have seen in our local area. There appear to be no weak links in this strong cast as each member delivered their role with energy and enthusiasm. I particularly enjoyed the harmonies in the ensemble numbers where the company created a sound that would not have been out of place on a national stage.
Keshia Herbert as Deloris Van Cartier was a delight to watch. She captured the energy, sass and humour of this iconic role with a natural ease. Her personality and stage presence made for a memorable portrayal of Deloris.
Sheila Wood as Mother Superior was outstanding. Her performance and beautiful voice became a highlight of the night. Her rendition of Here within these walls was a particular favourite.
It would be extremely hard to have a successful production of Sister Act without all of the flamboyant characters involved. From nuns to gangsters, the show requires strong acting skills to successfully recreate the characters that we have grown to love. Luckily, the entire cast at QBMTS are extremely talented and did not disappoint.
All of the principle title nuns are exceptional in their roles. Elysia Stretton gave us the shy likeable performance as secretly talented Sister Mary Robert. She also has a beautiful powerful voice which filled the auditorium with her graceful rendition of The life I never led.
I adored the comedic performances of Kerry Davies as Sister Mary Martin of Tours and Natalie Baggott as Sister Mary Lazarus. Both commanded the stage with their eccentric performances and ensured that I was smiling throughout.
Gillian Homer, as perky nun Sister Mary Patrick, excelled in her charismatic wonderful performance. She also wowed the audience with her soprano vocals and energy.
Each nun, from the principle roles and ensemble, had fabulous chemistry with Keshia as Deloris. I felt the sisterhood on stage and I thoroughly enjoyed all of the numbers performed together such as It’s good to be a nun and Take me to heaven (reprise).
Carl Cook is excellent as Curtis, the gangster love interest of Deloris. He commands the stage with a powerful presence and wonderful singing voice. We see the comedic side of Curtis with the performance of When I find my baby which was a darkly humorous number and a fabulous performance from those involved. I particularly enjoyed the chemistry between characters Curtis (Carl Cook), Joey (Mike James), TJ (Ollie Hart-Bradford) and Pablo (David Shaw).
Eddie (sweaty Eddie) played by Tom Robinson gave a wonderful performance as Deloris’s love interest. He had an excellent voice which would not be out of place on a professional stage.
This was a wonderful performance from an extremely talented company who had us singing praise and heading to church by the time we left! From the standing ovations in the crowd, it is safe to say that the audience were singing “Hallelujah” for this production.
Sister Act is at Brierley Hill Civic Hall from 5th – 9th June 2018. The next production by QBMTS will be Singing in the Rain in June 2019.
Theatretastic rating 5/5:
We say: “A spectacular production from a talented company. The standing ovations prove that the audience were singing “Hallelujah” for this production!”