The Edinburgh Fringe will be fortunate indeed to have Viva’s production of ‘Sister Act’ on its list. This production, as expected, was a lively, non-stop kaleidoscope of a variety of characters, with first class singing and choreography that had that special ‘wow’ factor. The hearts of the members of the audience were won over from the first.
What came over especially well was the contrast of characters and scenes. The wonderful lead, Dolores van Cartier (played by Sinead Mathias) captured audience and nuns alike with her flamboyant, uninhibited and voluptuous joy. The contrast between the nun’s first attempt at singing – all out of tune – so difficult to do when you can actually sing in tune after all, contrasted well with their final crowd-rousing sound.
Mother Superior (Bridget Hickish) made it clear from the start that nuns should be quiet and demure – hardly the characteristics they developed after the influence of Dolores. Mother Superior’s gradual change to acceptance and her final heroic act to protect Dolores clearly demonstrated her development as a character. Shy Sister Mary Robert (Amy Roberts) becomes a star of the show, as do the other nuns: Sister Mary Patrick (Sarah Shorney) Sister Mary Lazarus (Mary Barnes), Sister Mary Martin-of-Tours Samantha Gallop) and Sister Mary Theresa (Kate Nolan). Sister Mary Lazarus was one of many in the cast who brought out the humour of the production.
Monsignor O’Hara (David Tickner) was every bit the senior member of the clergy persuading Mother Superior to think outside the box, Curtis (Richard Dodd) was the typical baddie every ounce of him evil. Eddie (Ben Clarke) remembered as a young school boy with a crush rises to courageous deeds that save the day. Joey (Dylan Cardwell), TJ (David Blyth), and Pablo (Torin Fahy) made a wonderful set of goons at the bidding of Curtis, even when they were reluctant to do so. Michelle and Tina (Tara Gilbe and Angela Warder) and Ernei (David Burchell) were also invaluable contributors.
The singing was accompanied by an amazing, supportive orchestra under the baton of Richard Hayward.
Director and Producer Daniel Schumann and the production team have put on an excellent show again! Bravo!.