Falkirk Bohemians get in on the Sister Act

31-10-2016. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Town Hall. Falkirk Bohemians 'Sister Act', dress rehearsal.
31-10-2016. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Town Hall. Falkirk Bohemians 'Sister Act', dress rehearsal.

Falkirk Bohemians have a habit (ahem) of putting on great shows – and this funny and funky musical is certainly no exception.

Whoopi Goldberg first donned a wimpole to play Deloris in the 1992 film Sister Act – and while the stage show isn’t a carbon copy, it has the same energy, warmth and feel-good factor that made the original such a success.

The show starts as it means to go on; the stage filled with a big chorus, energetically belting out Take Me to Heaven.

It’s the perfect vehicle for the rich, soulful vocals of Katie Gardiner, who plays Deloris Van Cartier with panache and just the right touch of vulnerability. When she stumbles on heartless (and married) boyfriend Eddie – in the act of bumping off one of his henchmen, she wisely does a runner.

That leads her to the police and an old schoolfriend, Eddie, who it turns out, still adores her and has the perfect hiding place – the convent.

The comedy kicks off when she is taken to meet the Mother Superior, brilliantly played by Kirsty Meikle who has a nice line in withering sarcasm as well as a fine voice.

“Is there a smoking section?” asks Deloris.

“There is – and you’re heading for it,” replies the nun.

The two leads shine in their respective roles, but they are more than ably supported by a fantastic ensemble.

There is broad comedy from the guys who may be vastly outnumbered on stage but still make their presence felt Maurice Pryke, Iain Davidson, Colin Fawkes and David Young got the audience giggling – though they are also seriously good singers.

Michael Coyne’s Monsignor O’Hara was blessed with a great role that he made the most of and Kenny Walker really connected with the audience as the hapless Eddie, turning in a great vocal performance too.

But this isn’t called Sister Act for nothing – this show belongs to the nuns, who blossom into a choir fit to sing for the Pope himself. Sister Mary Lazarus (Lisa Goldie), Sister Mary Patrick (Shelley McLaren) are hilarious, but each and every one of the performers add deft little touches to give each of the characters personality.

LoisAnne McNinch deserves a mention for an amazing vocal performance as Sister Mary Robert – the audience’s applause said it all.

The costumes and stage design pull it all together with vivid sparkle and the direction and choreography cleverly keep things moving and maintain the energy from start to finish.

So, do I recommend this as a really entertaining night out, with great music and a lot of laughs? Sister, you better believe I would.

Sister Act, presented by Falkirk Bohemians, is at Falkirk Town Hall until Saturday. For tickets, call (01324) 506850.

Cast

Deloris Van Cartier, Katie Gardiner; Mother Superior, Kirsty Meikle; Sister Mary Robert, Lois Anne McNinch; Sister Mary Patrick, Shelley McLaren; Monsignor O’Hara, Michael Coyne; Curtis Jackson, Maurice Pryke; “Sweaty” Eddie Souther, Kenny Walker; TJ, Iain Davidson; Joey, Colin Fawkes; Pablo, David Young; Sister Mary Lazarus, Lisa Goldie; Sister Mary Martin-of-Tours, Iona Turnbull; Sister Mary Theresa, Janice Gray; Michelle, Stephanie Duncan; Tina, Rebecca Anderson; Ernie, Chris Brooks; Cab Driver, Jamie Shanks; Cop, Kirstin Jalland; Waitress, Rebecca English.

Ensemble

Claudia Anderson, Rebecca Anderson, Emma Bell, Kimberley Black, Niamh Brooks, Chris Brooks, Karen Chambers, Emma Christie, Emma Davidson, Sam Davidson, Yvonne Dickson, Stephanie Duncan, Rebecca English, Roslyn Fricker, Victoria Fulton, Joyce Gallacher, Emma Gilmour, Natalie Gourley, Claire Hamilton, Rebecca Hardie, Louise Harland, Jen Helmbolt, Marianne Herron, Kirstin Jalland, Evonne Johnston, Sarah Laird, Kevin O’Raw, Karen Ross, Jamie Shanks, Rachel Smith, Chiara Sportelli, Leigh-Anne Struthers.