Review & Pictures: Sister Act, The Byre

St Andrews Musical Society - Sister Act
St Andrews Musical Society - Sister Act

In February snow closed the Byre Theatre after the first night of the St Andrews Musical Society (SAMS) production of Sister Act.

Thanks to the tremendous efforts of the Byre staff, replacement dates were negotiated and the show finally completed its run.

It was just as well the show was rescheduled as it was a tremendous production – one of the best to grace the Byre stage in many a year.

Sister Act is a feel-good musical comedy.

Filled with powerful gospel music and a truly moving story, Sister Act is a sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship.

The show was slick and stylish and this was all due to the director Kris Mordente.

It was his first time directing for SAMS, but hopefully not the last.

Once again Robert Nee, musical director, ensured that soloists and chorus produced singing of a consistently high standard and brimming with artistic energy.

However, the real star of the show was Donna Reilly who not only choreographed the amazing dance numbers, but also took the lead as Deloris.

The company kept the energy going through all the ensemble numbers, and still managed to run around the stage during the hectic chase sequence in Act 2.

One of my favourite numbers was ‘Take me to Heaven’ which was the finale of the first half.

Katrina Bradley took the part of the Mother Superior and developed the character sensitively.

It was good to see Kirsten Smith in the part of Sister Mary Robert – the young postulant who is unsure about her life in the convent.

She took the audience with her on her journey of developing self-confidence.

Jane Campbell and Rachel Nee brought out the comedy in the parts of Sister Mary Lazarus and Sister Mary Patrick. Their comic timing and energy lit up the stage.

‘I could be that guy’ was one of the most memorable numbers in the show. Callum Stott as Eddie, the policeman who has a crush on Deloris, not only sang it beautifully but also managed three quick costume changes during the number!

Bad guy Curtis was portrayed by Craig Spence. His assured acting kept the story on a clear path to the finale and his downfall.

Curtis’s trio of hapless stooges – played by Colin Sutherland, Andrew Waghorn and Tiger Mitchell – stole the show in their two numbers, especially ‘Lady in the long black dress’, when the ladies in the front row basked in all the attention!

Special mention must go to Shea Gardner and Hannah Nicholls for not only being in the chorus of nuns, but also providing great singing and synchronized dancing as the backing group for Deloiris’ night club numbers.

The company received a well-deserved standing ovation every night.

This is not surprising as this was a brilliant production full of energy, superb singing and classy dancing.

It would be difficult to find a better production of Sister Act anywhere.