This year, audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe have the choice of not one, but two separate productions of Sister Act the Musical. Thankfully they are not running at the same time, so there’s no risk of going to the wrong venue by mistake. For clarity, this review is for the first of the two productions by Captivate Theatre.
Based on the classic 90s film starring Whoopi Goldberg, in this musical you see the unlikely union of a disco diva and a convent of nuns. When the larger than life singer, Deloris Van Cartier, witnesses a murder by her lover Curtis, she is asked to testify in court to lock Curtis away for good. Without much say in the matter, Deloris is placed in protective custody in the church convent, under the watchful eye of Mother Superior.
The Chapel on Rose Street is a well-suited venue for this musical, where cast members often sit in the pews among the audience. During the 120-minute running time, you are convinced of the journey that Deloris goes on from feeling trapped to forming lasting friendships with her follow sisters through their shared love of music.
The disco inspired score is brilliantly performed by a strong band of musicians who do justice in performing the toe-tapping tunes including ‘Raise your Voice’ and ‘Take Me To Heaven’. A standout moment is the hilarious ‘Lady in the Long Black Dress’ number in which Curtis’ three henchmen mastermind a plan to woe nuns to the Bee-Gees-esque song.
The show is for those seeking a light-hearted and feel-good musical with big dance numbers and great costumes.
Sister Act is running at the Gilded Balloon Rose Theatre from 8 – 11 August at the time of writing.