Opening night of Leicester Amateur Operatic Society's annual production at Leicester's Curve was sold out, and quite rightly so. Combining the immense talents of the LAOS membership with the hugely professional support they get from Curve and you have a production that is heavenly. It is sacrilegious that this production is only on for four days. It deserves at least a week!
It was obvious from the moment that the curtain went up that we were about to see a West End standard show and we were right. For an amateur production the scenery was unbelievable, the sound amazing and the vocal talents of the cast on a par with anything you see in a professional touring show.
A show like Sister Act, classily based on the film starring Whoopi Goldberg, relies almost entirely on the casting of the main character, Doloris Van Cartier, failing nightclub singer and murder witness. Taking her first leading role, unbelievably, in Shelley Henry LAOS has struck gold . Dominating the stage she has a voice that in turn tears up the scenery and then breaks your heart. But this is not a show that can rely on a single strong singer carrying the rest of the cast and in this production we are spoilt with an array of stand out voices. Debbie Longley as Mother Superior and Tom Mottram as baddie Curtis lead a list of principal players who give way more than we could hope for in an amateur production.
Of course, Sister Act is not going to tax anyone with its tenuous storyline but that doesn't matter when the entire show is filled with sassy, uplifting vocals. The story has been transported to the 70's to enable an entirely new score to be created. It also allows for some truly awful costumes, all in keeping with the period, of course.
If by some chance you manage to get a ticket transport yourself to redemption, give in to temptation and genuflect your way to an evening of blessed enjoyment.
Sister Act is on at Curve until Sunday 28 June
First published in Western Gazette
© Paul Towers 2015
© Paul Towers 2015