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REVIEW: Sister Act takes audiences on a ride to heaven and back

REVIEW: Sister Act takes audiences on a ride to heaven and back

Friday 08 December 2023

REVIEW: Sister Act takes audiences on a ride to heaven and back

Friday 08 December 2023


JCG's College Hall was transformed into a chorus-filled church in Philadelphia for a remarkably professional, assured – and rip-roaring – performance of ‘Sister Act’.

JCG Youth Music Theatre set some challenges for itself with its first musical since 2019 – it’s likely that very few audience members were familiar with the 2006 musical based on the much-loved 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg.

Head of Drama and director Caroline Stone and musical director John Bowley had their work cut out for them, with long, complex songs and intricate dance numbers, plus some difficult themes and plot details to get through.

The cast was sprawling, the musical score was tough – there was a lot which could have gone wrong.

However, this incredibly capable cast and crew of over 70 students not only pulled it off – they aced it, standing ovation and all.

The lingering uncertainty that audience members feel at school productions quickly melted away when the show's lead, the 'fabulous' Deloris Van Cartier took to the stage.

She was confident, assured, and had the charisma of a seasoned star. Not a foot wrong for two hours.

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Pictured: Deloris Van Cartier hits the high notes in her lead role.

Other standout moments included Sister Mary Roberts' stunning solo ballad, which made audience members think they were not only listening to a shy nun but to a professional musical theatre actress in the West End.

Mother Superior was flawless in her emotional and comedic moments, balancing tone expertly.

Detective Eddie Souther – or 'Sweaty Eddie' – had everyone on their feet for not one but two surprises during his endearing song, which shall not be spoiled here...

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Pictured: Sister Mary Robert has a moving solo moment.

Scene, set and lighting transitions were also seamless, mistakes were nowhere to be seen – even the jokes that perhaps didn't quite land as expected were all the more hilarious for bashing the ground a bit heavily.

The band gave an unhesitating and joyful rendition of numbers that had audience members tapping their feet and nodding their heads. All this was made especially enjoyable with the musical director dressed as the pope.

To top it all off, the themes of sisterhood and friendship, the protection and empowerment of women and their voices, couldn't help but be a poignant theme for a group of young girls in Jersey.

I can only say I'm jealous of the two remaining sold-out audiences who will get to experience this infectious joy all over again.

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