Review: Sister Act, Birmingham Hippodrome

Sister Act, Birmingham Hippodrome
Photos by Mark Senior.

Sisters are doing it for themselves – and never more so than in Birmingham this week where you can enjoy a heavenly dose of  Sister Act: A Divine Comedy Musical.

This high-energy production really hits the spot, lifting the spirits against the current chaotic backdrop of life.

Sister Act, Birmingham Hippodrome

Set in Philadelphia in the late 1970s, disco diva Deloris’ life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder. Placed under protective custody after witnessing her mobster boyfriend commit a murder, she is hidden in the one place she shouldn’t be found – a convent! Encouraged to help the struggling choir, she helps her fellow sisters find their true voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own.

Landi Oshinowo’s performance seems as much at home in the platform boots of sassy Deloris Van Cartier as it does in the habit of her warm-hearted alter-ego of Sister Clarence, forging new friendships from the most unlikely of sources – the convent in which she seeks sanctuary.

Deloris’ charisma is equalled by Oshinowo’s powerhouse vocals which certainly reached the ‘Gods!’

Sister Act, Birmingham Hippodrome

Featuring original music by Tony® and eight-time Oscar® award-winner Alan Menken (Disney’s Aladdin, Enchanted) and songs inspired by Motown, soul and disco, this is toe-tapping romp is joyous and uplifting.

Plaudits too for Sue Cleaver (formerly of Coronation Street) who is pristinely pious in the role of Mother Superior, and whose acting prowess more than makes up for lack of vocal finesse. (But it’s not really a singing role.)

Biggest laughs of the night though came from the unlikely direction of the villains of the piece – Ian Gareth-Jones, who plays Deloris’s lover, Curtis Jackson, and his his trio of hapless henchmen Joey, Pablo and TJ, played by Callum Martin, Michalis Antoniou and Elliot Gooch.

Sister Act, Birmingham Hippodrome

A special mention is deserved too for Alfie Parker as the luckless dreamer Eddie Southern whose velvety smooth soulful vocals were enough to melt the heart of our heroine – as well as a packed Hippodrome audience. What a voice!

A divine couple of hours of entertainment that you won’t regret.

It plays at the Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday, May 18th. Tickets available here

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