Words by Glenn Slater and Music by Alan Menken
NST Campus (Nuffield Theatre),
January 2019
Director: Rachel Pike
Cast List
Sister Mary Robert
Mother Superior
Sister Mary Lazarus
Sister Mary Patrick
Monsignor O'Hara
Sister Mary Martin of Tours
Sister Mary Theresa

Notes on this performance

132. Sister Act

Sisters act, dance and sing…

Considering the AGM of 2017 was a glum affair full of warnings about the potential financial demise of the Society and, since then, two shows had both registered a loss, the meeting of 2018 was surprisingly upbeat. In addition to that, the DYT committee had decided to break from SOS (rebranding themselves as Dynamic Youth Theatre) leaving the Society with the name of a youth group but little else. However, important decisions had been made during the year and it had been resolved to cease hiring the expensive Nursling Scenery Store and to move the rehearsal venue to the significantly cheaper Bitterne Park Sixth Form Theatre.

The choice of Sister Act as the winter show was generally a popular one but there was still an element of risk in its selection as Eastleigh had recently made a loss on their production. At 28, Rachael Pike became the second youngest SOS Director (David Tatnall was 23!), she had planned the show thoroughly and it was far from obvious that she was making her debut in that role. Her husband, Matt, helped as Assistant, Susie Maycock was the Choreographer and the very experienced Nigel Finch the Musical Director.

The review in Scene1+ was very appreciative of their efforts starting with ‘Southampton Operatic Society has captured the essence of the story and provided good entertainment in the form of excellent singing and choreography against a well thought out set’ and ended with ‘The finale of Act 1 was a stand out, really and thoroughly enjoyed by all those sat around me too. Quite rafter uplifting.’

The reviewer also highlighted some outstanding performances from the principals, ‘As Delores, Susie Maycock is in top notch form both in energy and vocal talent. She has excellent stage presence with a warmth and passion that gives her Delores a sass and ‘vavavoom’ needed, the character barely being off stage. Very impressed with her throughout. Matching her with vocal talent and great characterisation is Tina Adams as the Mother Superior. A difficult role which is elegantly played with just the right touch of humour, worry and faith confusion, balancing all these perfectly. Indeed all the Convent Nuns played their roles with energy and pure joy, Abi Jeffrey and Jo Barnard being particularly marvellous to watch. As Sister Mary Robert, Abi Jeffrey just caught the essence of this character so well, making her huge solo number even more emotional and wonderful. 

Roger Lamb oozes smug creepiness as Curtis and gives credibility to a role that is written very one dimensional. His henchmen worked hard providing light comedic moments within the constraints of the script and all sung well. Dan Farrell was in good voice and character as Sweaty Eddie adding an extra layer to the relationship with Delores not often seen. Their scene at his flat was very well done.’ 

The audiences were indeed appreciative but the total number for the week (1460) would not necessarily guarantee a financial success. However, avoiding having a Get In on the Sunday, not performing on Tuesday and a greater than usual consideration given to ticket pricing led to a much-needed profit of £4039.

Terry O'Farrell

sis19 1

                               Abi Jeffery (Sister Mary Robert), Susie Maycock (Deloris), Katy Lewis (Sister Mary Patrick)

sis19 2

                          The nuns performing - standing centre: Susie Maycock (Deloris / Sister Mary Clarence)

sis19 3

                                             The nuns rapping - centre: Jo Barnard (Sister Mary Lazarus)

sis19 4

                                 Tina Adams (Mother Superior), Terry O'Farrell (Monsignor O'Hara), Daniel Farrell (Eddie)

sis19 5

   The hoodlums threaten Les Pike - L to R: Roger Lamb (Curtis), Mark Allen (Joey), Paul Dawson-Plincke (TJ), Russell Dutton (Pablo)

sis19 6

       Gillian Parry, Amanda Ward, Amanda Peaty (Tina), Susie Maycock (Deloris), Kara Goodland (Michelle), Ellie Robinson, Li Wei