On Wednesday 5 October, the U4 music group visited Birmingham Hippodrome to watch ‘Sister Act’. We asked two of the students who attended the performance to write a review.
On Wednesday 5th October, members of the Upper Fourth went on a Music trip to the Birmingham Hippodrome. There we saw the musical Sister Act, as part of our “Music for Stage and Screen” topic.
Set in Philadelphia, the musical charts the story of Deloris – a young woman who dreams of stardom, with crowds screaming her name. Having witnessed her boyfriend commit a murder, Deloris turns to the police for support and is placed under a witness protection program.
Disguised as “Sister Mary Clarence”, Deloris is enrolled and hidden in ‘The convent of the Holy order of the Little Sisters of Perpetual Faith’. There, she clashes with the stern and severe Mother Superior, and struggles to find herself amidst the unflattering outfits, which just lack sparkle! As an outcast within the convent, Deloris uses her unique talent to rejuvenate the convent choir. The success of her choir reaches all corners of the globe (meaning a performance for the Pope) and she attracts the attention of her boyfriend and his gang. The resulting altercation of mob versus nun is definitely not one to miss!
The plot was lifted by the exuberant soundtrack, vibrant scenery and excellent staging. From “Steady Eddie’s” hilarious costume change mid-song, to Sister Mary Robert’s heartfelt solo, each tune touched the hearts of the audience (even the extremely entertaining rendition of “Sanctus”, which was sure to leave the listeners with an earache for a few hours!) The set included a disco ball to suit every occasion, and the variety of strobe lights had everyone on their feet, singing and dancing along to the familiar favourites.
A huge thank you to Miss Sanders for organising a very memorable and enjoyable trip.
On 5th October, our music class went on a trip, arranged by school, to the Hippodrome in Birmingham to watch the musical, Sister Act. This was to complement our work on music for stage and screen which we’re studying in music.
Sister Act was about a lounge singer called Deloris who was also a witness to a murder. She had to be protected, in disguise as a nun. She was limited to what she could do in the convent, ‘here within these walls’ so at first, Deloris was disappointed but soon befriended the other residents (the sisters) and became a key role of the choir, helping everyone find their voices and making it become less conventional. Soon she had merged both the religious side of her and the rebellious part to discover the new person she had become, along with many new friends she made along the way.
I haven’t been to many musicals before but I thought Sister Act was very fun with an interesting story and message. It portrayed different emotions and actions through a variety of musical elements such as tempo, dynamics and rhythm but also had some great sound effects such as loud echoes when the characters spoke in the convent to accentuate the high ceilings and vast space inside. Also, the disco ball which lifted Deloris up as she sat on it was great.
I thought all characters were played excellently and it seemed as though they all enjoyed playing their roles too. However, my favourites were Deloris and Mother Supreme as they performed continuously well and stayed in character throughout the whole performance. There were many styles of music – gospel, pop and some 70s styled songs to express the genre and time period of which it is set. However, there were also many contemporary sections which were relatable to us and made us laugh as it was used cleverly within the musical. It was funny to watch how the religious and spiritual Mother Supreme began to alter her ideas of what being a nun means and became more accepting of the new attitudes from the sisters, particularly Deloris. Some of my favourites were “Raise you Voice” and “Take me to Heaven” as they were very catchy. There were varied settings for different scenes and I liked how the lighting followed the characters as they walked across the stage. It put our focus onto them as they stood in the spotlight. The transitions of props on set, to create a different atmosphere, were efficient and smooth. I loved the way the stage was set out with many tiers for a 3D effect. I particularly liked the colourful, sparkly costumes worn by the sisters at the end of the performance, which matched the bright rainbow colours framing the stage as it showed a feeling of harmony and a happy ending along with Deloris getting the white sequin dress with white fox fur as her dreams came true.
The orchestra performed brilliantly by making the show vibrant and have a characteristic nature. Although they are hidden and seem not as prominent as the actors, the performance would have been ordinary and not feel as special as it did if they were not present.
I learnt that you can bring a story to life in the form of a musical, which is a powerful and very entertaining way to view it. By using music, not only does the story become more memorable with catchy lyrics, but it is also more fun to sing along with friends. There was nothing I disliked about the performance as it was a spectacle, and would definitely recommend it to my friends who haven’t yet seen it.