Sister Act the Musical

Earlier this week I went along to the Theatre Royal in Nottingham to see an all new production of the Broadway and West End smash hit musical comedy, Sister Act. The musical is based on the 1992 Whoopi Goldberg film of the same name and is directed by Strictly Come Dancing judge, Craig Revel Horwood. For today’s post, I’m sharing my thoughts on it with you guys in case you’ve been thinking about going to see it yourselves. I hope you enjoy it.

Sister Act the Musical


Set in the 1970’s, Sister Act tells the heartwarming tale of Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe superstar who accidentally witnesses her boyfriend, Curtis, and his cronies shoot a guy they think has been squealing about them to the police. Horrified, she runs away, and Curtis orders his men to go after her and bring her back. But it’s too late. Deloris has already reached the police station and has told the desk chief, Eddie, everything that had happened. Eddie recognises Deloris as the girl from high school who he had a crush on but who called him ‘Sweaty Eddie’. He decides that Deloris needs to go into witness protection for her own safety, and he sends her to the one place he’s convinced that Curtis won’t find her – a convent.

Disguised as a nun, Deloris finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle of the convent, and the uptight Mother Superior. Using her unique talents to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church, but in doing so blows her cover. She soon finds herself a nun-on-the-run, but manages to find salvation in the heavenly power of her newly found sisterhood.

Sister Act the Musical


Upon arrival at the theatre, we were told that Alexandra Burke (who plays the lead role in the show) was unwell and wouldn’t be appearing in that evening’s performance. I heard a few people express their disappointment at this, but as an avid theatre-goer, I know that these things happen, and more often than not I find that their understudies are just as good (if not better) than the person actually playing the lead.

On the night I saw Sister Act, the role of Deloris Van Cartier was played by Joanna Francis. And Joanna’s usual role of Michelle was played by Nicola Bryan. My friend Jo and I took our seats in the auditorium just before the show started, and we couldn’t believe how full it was for a Monday evening. I don’t think there was an empty seat in the house! You could feel the excitement in the air and neither of us could wait for the show to begin.

Curtis - Sister Act the Musical

Act one opened with Mother Superior declaring to the lord that the convent was in need. She told him how the church was falling apart, the parishioners no longer came, and there were only a few sisters left to speak of. She knows that if something doesn’t happen soon they’ll be forced to close their doors. And it’s clear from the passion in her voice that she doesn’t want this to happen. She asks where their salvation is, and it’s here that we met Deloris Van Cartier for the very first time.

I thought that Joanna gave an outstanding performance on the night, and she really owned the role of Deloris. I knew instantly that she was a character I was going to love. And as well as having the most amazingly powerful singing voice, she delivered her lines with great passion and perfect comic timing too.

Sister Act the Musical

I thought the rest of the casting was brilliant as well, with everyone’s roles fitting to a T. And the scenery? Well, the scenery was just incredible! It was set up to look like we were in an actual church, with high ceilings and big windows. There was even an organ and confession box towards the back of the stage. The attention to detail was just fantastic.

Before I went to see Sister Act I was familiar with a couple of the songs from the show – ‘Take Me to Heaven’ and ‘Fabulous, Baby!’ to be precise. But I have to be honest and say I didn’t know any of the others. I was slightly worried that the other songs wouldn’t be that great after reading a couple of bad reviews on them, but I needn’t have worried. It happens to be chock full of glorious numbers, and I like that it combines both disco music (after all, it is set in the 70’s) along with the more ‘churchy’ sounding stuff that you’d expect from a show like this.

I also have to mention how much I loved the costumes! I felt that Deloris, in particular, was the sort of person who liked to keep up with the latest trends. And I had to laugh, as believe it or not I have the handbag she uses in the show in a tan colour and a very similar pair of FM Boots in black! The wardrobe department clearly have great taste! Hehe.

Deloris Van Cartier as Sister Mary Clarence - Sister Act the Musical

I definitely feel that the cast make this show the success it is. They had high energy throughout the whole thing, despite the running time being quite long compared to some of the other shows I’ve been to recently. And it’s obvious how much they enjoy doing what they do.

There were a few really memorable moments for me during the performance I saw. One of these being when Sister Mary Robert (played by Sarah Goggin) takes a real shine to Deloris and begs her to take her with her when she’s finally able to leave the convent. She sings ‘The Life I Never Led’ and she seemed so heartbroken to be losing her friend that I found had tears in my eyes toward the end of the song!

I also loved the way the nuns sang terribly until Deloris was put in charge of the choir and taught them how to sing in perfect harmony. It can’t be easy to pretend you’re completely tone-deaf. I mean, if I could sing (which I can’t) I don’t think I would be able to pretend I couldn’t. I’d be wanting to show off my lovely voice way too much!

Sister Act the Musical


Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the show. And so did my friend Jo, who went along to see it with me. I was completely gripped from start to finish, and I would most definitely go and see it again if I got the chance. The entire cast is utterly engaging, and it was clear from the start that they absolutely love being a part of the show.

Sister Act had us laughing from the start, but there were also some serious, breath holding moments too. And of course it sends a strong message about materialistic things not being as important as friendship, love and doing the right thing.

Since I saw the show on Monday I’ve been listening to the soundtrack non-stop, and have raved to anyone who will listen about how brilliant it is! If you only see one show this year then I highly recommend you make it this. I guarantee you’ll love it. And in the words of Craig Revel Horwood, it’s FAB-U-LOUS!

The show is currently running at the Theatre Royal in Nottingham until Saturday 11th February 2017, before continuing on its tour around the UK. Tickets for the shows can be booked by clicking here.

Are you a fan of musicals? And have you ever seen Sister Act on the stage?
Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading guys.With love from Lou SignatureTwitter | Facebook | Bloglovin | Instagram | Pinterest

*I was kindly given two tickets to see Sister Act in exchange for an honest review


Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2017 Louise Smith


  1. 06/02/2017 / 4:40 pm

    Oh I adore the film Sister Act, it’s so funny. I’d love to catch this on stage, sounds like a good evening out.

    • Louise
      06/02/2017 / 8:27 pm

      It sure is! I loved the film as a kid but I’ve not seen it in years. I’d love to see it on Netflix in the future 🙂
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  2. 06/02/2017 / 5:06 pm

    This looks so good and I’m glad you enjoyed yourself – I haven’t seen a show in ages! x

  3. 06/02/2017 / 7:16 pm

    I really enjoyed the film and I think it would be great fun to see this musical as a stage production. I’m glad you had such a great time x

  4. Lynne Harper
    06/02/2017 / 7:41 pm

    I loved Sister Act it was and still is one of my favourite movies, especially the one this musical is based on. I’m sure the evening was just fabulous, I would love to see it x

  5. 06/02/2017 / 8:29 pm

    To be honest if you’d asked me before I read this post if I wanted to see Sister Act the Musical I would have said no. But you’ve really sold it to me. The actors and costumes sound great.

  6. 06/02/2017 / 9:58 pm

    I loved the Sister Act movies! I’d definitely like to see the play. Great review!

  7. 06/02/2017 / 10:11 pm

    I love sister act and I really want to see the musical so badly as it is meant to be out of this world amazing. Serious case of FOMO right now xx
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  8. 06/02/2017 / 10:15 pm

    Not a fan of musicals but Sister Act is one of my favourite films, so I’d love to see this. Alexandra Burke grates on me though! x
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  9. hannah
    06/02/2017 / 10:19 pm

    I think it looks great. I haven’t seen the movie in years. Thanks for sharing x

  10. 07/02/2017 / 10:38 am

    I loved the film so would love to see the stage production! x

  11. 07/02/2017 / 11:03 am

    I have watch the movie but would definitely love to watch a live musical show. I sure you has amazing experience.

  12. 07/02/2017 / 1:37 pm

    I love the films and havent seen them in ages so I am sure I would love the stage version x
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  13. Angela Key Milnes
    07/02/2017 / 3:03 pm

    Sounds like a good event, I want a event like this. My mom was love a musical too

  14. 07/02/2017 / 4:36 pm

    Oh gosh I loved this one is! How thrilling to name see it in love theater!!

  15. 07/02/2017 / 4:45 pm

    I’m not surprised Alexandra Burke is good in it – she’s so feisty. Thanks for the review!

  16. 07/02/2017 / 7:44 pm

    I loved the films I’m not a fan of Alexandra Burke and feel that would put me off however it does sound good x

  17. 08/02/2017 / 6:14 pm

    I saw this in my local theatre and loved it!! we also didn’t see Alexandre Burke but I wasn’t too bothered. her understudy was incredible.

    • Louise
      08/02/2017 / 11:34 pm

      She really is. I honestly couldn’t imagine Alexandra being any better than Joanna. She’s just more well known 🙂
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  18. 08/02/2017 / 6:22 pm

    I feel the same about understudies and it’s nice that they get the chance to perform once in a while as they have done all the rehearsing. xx
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  19. shannon ritchie
    08/02/2017 / 6:52 pm

    I’m so happy this is in Nottingham because I have always wanted to see it!

  20. 08/02/2017 / 7:03 pm

    We’d love to see this on the stage and adore the films! Shame Alexandra Burke was unwell but glad you enjoyed it regardless x
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  21. 08/02/2017 / 7:35 pm

    I grew up in an all girls catholic school so this is very interesting to me and by the looks of it very worth the watch! I’ll check them out 🙂

  22. 08/02/2017 / 8:56 pm

    I did love the film of this and the musical must be amazing. I would love to go and see that sometime soon.

  23. 09/02/2017 / 8:08 pm

    I love musicals but I LOVE Sister Act the film and I think I would struggle with it being so different (music wise). My friend went to see it and said the same as you though x

  24. 10/02/2017 / 5:09 pm

    I absolutely love the film, so think this is a most fabulous idea. I would be so keen to see this, it would be worth travelling for. Nice to see you were pleased with the overall performance.

  25. 11/02/2017 / 4:03 pm

    I would love to see that musical! The film was just perfect, and Whoopi Goldberg as Deloris was absolutely great- it must be interesting to see someone else in that role!
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  26. 12/02/2017 / 8:10 pm

    I’m glad I’ve read this. It’s coming to Cardiff and I was trying to decide whether or not to go

  27. Lyndsey
    15/02/2017 / 11:04 pm

    I love this musical, the music is fantastic I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  28. 23/02/2017 / 7:27 am

    It was a great show wasn’t it! I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it at first but it certainly grew on me. We bought the soundtrack too and can’t stop listening to it. I thought it was a really feel good show and your review describes it perfectly!

  29. Rebecca Bryant
    14/04/2017 / 11:37 am

    That is the one thing I miss about living in a small town is no theaters close by. I love watching musical theater so much.

  30. 17/04/2017 / 11:48 am

    I’ve only been to a musical once but I loved it! this sounds fab! #SundayBest xx

    • Louise
      24/04/2017 / 8:04 pm

      I absolutely loved it, Cathy! I haven’t seen the movie in ages, but the show was just how I remembered it. I even had a little tear in my eye!!

  31. 29/04/2017 / 11:53 pm

    Oh im gonna look this up, it sounds brilliant!!! I bet the understudy felt she had a massive job to do to turn the audience around after their disappointment at Alexandra not being there but sounds like she did great! That must have been a lot of pressure!
    Thanks for joining us at #SundayBest, hope to see you again tomorrow! x
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  32. reesa
    19/05/2017 / 3:37 pm

    This is one of my favorite movies! I would love to see it on stage!

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