Bristol Theatre News

Sister Act Bristol Hippodrome Review

A scintillating production of Sister Act, is running at the Bristol Hippodrome this week, produced and performed by the home grown talent of BLOC Productions.

If you have never seen the original West End production based on the hit 90’s film, do be prepared for differences.

While the book is based on the original film, the songs are all new and the story dabbled with.

It won’t matter if you don’t know the music, because this is really audience friendly show.

But if it’s a big change to the fans of the film turning up to hum along to I will Follow Him, BLOC Productions throws in an even bigger curve ball, casting Deloris Van Cartier with a white actor.

The bemused faces in the audience were soon replaced awe, when the stunningly talented Emma Watkins, gave a thrilling performance, really making the character her own.

Emma held the show together in the early stages of the first act. The pace lags at times and there are too many songs dished out to various characters that should be cut – a fault with the score rather than cast.

But, once we get to the first of the choir scenes, the pace is excellent and remains so for the rest of the performance.

Emma Watkins’ Deloris is harder, younger and edgier than Goldberg’s. But she takes us on a fantastic journey, playing her character full of warmth, depth and with an unfaltering Philadelphia accent.

The Nun ensemble is outstanding. Funny, quirky and a joy to watch through the entire show.

As Sister Mary Robert, Grace McDonald manages the perfect carbon copy of celluloid Wendy Makkena/Andrea Robinson from the original movie.

And, we did like Ian Taylor’s funny Monsignor O’Hara.

As the naïve and quirky Nuns sing through the dramatics of Act Two – much to the despair of Faye Banks’ fab Mother Superior – it’s hard to believe this is an amateur production.

It easily equals some of the touring West End productions which have taken to the Hippodrome stage over the years and in many cases, betters them.

One of the most enjoyable and faultless shows in Bristol for a long time.

10/10

Sister Act is at the Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 01 November 2014

www.atgtickets.com/shows/sister-act/bristol-hippodrome