Review: Sister Act (Somerset Live)

Marilyn Barber for Somerset Live

Sister – it is becoming a habit with this group to produce a well-rehearsed and heartwarming evening of entertainment.

The first half sets the scene for some rousing and joyous songs from the large cast in the second half.

Sharron Pearcy oozes confidence – as she always does – as disco diva Delores who, as a witness to murder, is put into protective custody in a convent.

And the transformation of her appearance gives plenty of opportunity for comedic touches.

Lee Neal has just so much stage presence that he never fails to dominate his scenes, and he almost mesmerising as Curtis, the villain of the piece.

However, it has to be said that he also gets impressive backing from his three stooges, Pablo (John Bounds), TJ (Miles Bailey-Breangaard) and Joey (Bill Mason) whose disco moves are great fun.

Julie Sissons puts just the right amount of authority into the role of Mother Superior with her clear singing voice and excellent diction.

Jemma Cable adds sparkle as the hugely excitable Sister Mary Patrick with Duncan Sayers evoking compassion as the mocked and inept police officer Eddie.

Hermione Mason, with her strong voice is maturing into a very proficient actress who is very at home on the stage.

Accolades too to director Duncan Trew, musical director Alastair Hume – yes there are three instrumentalists – choreographer Suzi Villiers and artistic director Roy Joseph.

And the costumes are pretty good too.

With a cast of 23 it is not possible to mention everyone, but all play their part in making this a musical worth seeing.

It runs until Saturday.

(Originally on Somerset Live)

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Review: Sister Act (SceneOne)

Linda Kirkman for SceneOne

Thanks to numerous screenings of the film on TV, not to mention a number of theatrical productions of the show in recent years, there can be few people now who are not familiar with the story of a disco diva, Deloris Van Cartier, who witnesses her boyfriend commit murder and, for her own safety, is put into protective custody in the one place she is unlikely to be found – a convent. However, if perchance you’ve been marooned on a TV- and theatre-less desert island and have never come across this heart-warming show, do go along to the Tivoli Theatre this week and catch WMT’s version, because I really don’t think you could see a better production.

From the opening bars of the overture to the final curtain calls, there is never a moment when joie-de-vivre doesn’t bubble off the stage into the auditorium and envelop us all with a warm glow. Much of this comes from Sharron Pearcy’s first-class interpretation of Deloris, a role that suits her to perfection and sets the standard for the evening, but every single person on stage, whether principal or chorus, is a credit to the society and to the production team of Duncan Trew (director), Alastair Hume (musical director) and Suzi DeVilliers (choreographer).

The principals really are as good as they get, with stand-out performances among the excellent nuns from Julie Sissons (Mother Superior) , Hermione Mason (Sister Mary Robert) and Jemma Cable (Sister Mary Patrick). There are strong, reliable performances too from Lee Neal (Curtis) and Phil Evans (Monsignor O’Hara), although the latter’s ‘Irish’ accent does occasionally make his words a little difficult to make out. I also particularly liked Duncan Sayers’s superb characterisation of Eddie, and Miles Bailey-Breandgaard gives an amusing and highly memorable performance as TJ. It isn’t always just those in major roles who make an impression either, and in the opening scene both Sophie Adnett (Michelle) and Georgia Brebner (Tina) have a huge impact with their lovely smiles and super dancing skills.

With good sets and costumes, a great band, superb sound and lighting, excellent singing, great choreography and totally natural performances from all, this production must surely go down as one of WMT’s best – and what I loved most of all was that absolutely everyone seems to be having the time of their life, with not a single glum face to be seen.

There are further performances on 2-5 August at 7.30, with a matinée on Saturday at 2.30pm.

(Originally in published on SceneOne)

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Nun Better! Preview of Sister Act from SceneOne.

Wimborne Musical Theatre will be raising their voices in Sister Act at the Tivoli Theatre from 1 to 5 August.

When disco diva, Deloris Van Cartier, witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won’t be found: a convent! Disguised as a nun, she finds herself at odds with both the rigid lifestyle and the uptight Mother Superior. Using her unique disco moves and vocal talent to inspire the choir, Deloris breathes new life into the church and community but, in doing so, blows her cover. Soon the gang is giving chase, only to find them up against Deloris and the power of her newly found sisterhood.

Filled with powerful gospel music, outrageous dancing and a truly moving story, Sister Act will have you ready to spread the love around.

Book online via the Tivoli website or call Sylvia on 01202 659425.

Originally published by SceneOne

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Heard the one about the 3 nuns in a car…

Members of WMTS paraded in the Corfe Mullen Carnival procession this year to help collect for local good causes and to promote our forthcoming production of “Sister Act” at the Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne from August 1st to 5th.

This is going to be a really great show. To get your tickets click on the ‘Book Now’ box!

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Creative Team Announced for Sister Act!

WMT is very pleased to announce the creative team for our upcoming production of ‘Sister Act’ will be:

Director: Duncan Trew
Musical Director: Alastair Hume
Choreographer: Suzi de Villiers
Artistic Director: Roy Joseph

We are very pleased to have been able to put together such a strong team and hope you will join us in what, we are sure, will be a super show.

If you are interested in joining the Society to perform, rehearsals begin on Thursday 2nd March, so get in touch via our Facebook page or email our chair directly.

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Our Next Show: Sister Act!

Wimborne Musical Theatre is pleased to announce the exciting news that our show for 2017 is to be SISTER ACT.

The show will take place at the Tivoli Theatre from Tuesday 1st to Saturday 5th August 2017. Rehearsals will start soon, details of this and audition dates will be posted as soon as we have them.

If you are keen to take part in this incredible high energy, comedic show with great, uplifting music then please get in touch!

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Review: Sounds of the 50s and 60s – SceneOne

I must declare an interest from the start: the ’50s and ’60s are exactly my era, and back then I must have bopped, smooched or sung along to just about every number on the programme. But even someone without my enthusiasm for the music of these two decades would have agreed that Wimborne Musical Theatre gave us an evening of high quality and enormous enjoyment. Most of the company of 22 had their moment in the spotlight and not one of them let the others down. The quality was variable, of course, not so much in the singing as in that elusive gift of putting a song across so that it gathers the audience up and takes them with the singer, but it never dropped below a very high standard.

The company would no doubt consider themselves an ensemble and say that it is unfair to single out individuals, but there were several outstanding performances. Duncan Sayers has a powerful and expressive voice, heard at its best in ‘Life could be a dream’ and ‘Maria’. Sharron Pearcy gave high-class renderings of ‘The look of love’ and ‘Crazy’ among others. John Bounds has a touch of Dean Martin about him and a voice that is ideal for the ballads of the time, like ‘Stranger in Paradise’, although he will be more watchable when he stops being one of those singers who are never quite sure what to do with their hands. Sally Ager’s voice has bags of character and she moves beautifully on stage; not only did she nail the high note (top E flat?) at the end of ‘I could have danced all night’, her duet with John Bounds in ‘Somewhere’ was the stand-out highlight of the evening. Hermione Mason gave us a touching rendering of ‘Secret love’ as well as an impressive en pointe ballet solo to ‘Nutrocker’. Those who took only one solo kept up the standard and I would have liked to hear more of Jemma Cable (‘Stupid Cupid’) and Julia Wass (‘Those were the days’).

The hugely appreciative audience responded particularly to the full chorus numbers, like ‘That’ll be the day’ and ‘Shake, rattle and roll’, which were performed with great energy and self-evident enjoyment. Both the men’s chorus (‘Hello, Dolly’) and the ladies (‘Da doo ron ron’ and ‘Why do fools fall in love’) had their moments in the spotlight. There was excellent harmony singing by smaller groups in numbers like ‘Lollipop medley’, ‘Walk right back’ and ‘Mr Sandman’.

The staging of the show by Suzi de Villiers, with Roy Joseph as Artistic Director, was impressively slick, one number leading almost seamlessly into the next. The choreography was fairly simple, but there was an awful lot of it and with over twenty items in each half, the feat of memory by all those on stage was impressive. The same applies to the hard-working trio in the pit: Lee Redwood (keyboard), Richard Pearce (bass) and David Waller (percussion). Such a huge amount of preparation had gone into the show that it seems a pity that it was on for only two performances.

Perhaps inevitably, the number of audience members under the age of 50 could have been counted on the fingers of one hand that had suffered an industrial accident. No matter: the show knew its market and catered for it wonderfully. Nostalgia, they say, is not what it used to be, but Wimborne Musical Theatre triumphantly proved ‘them’ wrong.

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Review: Sounds of the 50s and 60s – Blackmore Vale

With several exceptional performances and no weak links, this production brought a huge amount of enjoyment to audiences on Saturday.

Songs of that era were short with records running to around two minutes, so we were treated to 46 numbers in two hours, sung by 22 singers in various combos.

Many of the performers had the opportunity for solos and there were some stellar performances.

Sharron Pearcy never fails to give a professional performance and Love is a Many Splendored Thing, The Look of Love, I Only Want to be With You and Crazy gave her the chance to prove why she is so popular locally.

Surely destined for a professional career is Hermione Mason. Local theatregoers have seen her progress from child ingénue to the polished singer and dancer she is today. Secret Love, It’s My Party, and Wake Up Little Susie – the latter sung with Duncan Sayers- were stunning.

Lee Neal’s accomplishment as an actor gave him the chance to provide that extra edge to The Wanderer and Fly Me to the Moon.

Mikaela Buckby put plenty of emotion into her rendition of To Know Him is to Love Him but I suspect there is a more powerful voice just bubbling under the surface.

This fun show was just the tonic for a wet day in November.

Staged by Suzi De Villiers, with musical director Lee Redwood on keyboard, Richard Pearce on bass and David Waller on percussion, and with the added input of Roy Joseph as artistic director, this was one of this group’s most polished shows. Such a shame there were just two performances as it was worthy of more.

Marilyn Barber

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In The News: Honey the Dog Joins WMTS (Blackmore Vale)

More coverage for Honey, our famous canine cast member in the Blackmore Vale this week.

The old adage ‘never perform with children or animals’ is one that Wimborne Musical Theatre Society (WMTS) are happy to ignore. That’s because in their forthcoming concert, Sounds of the 50s and 60s, at the Tivoli Wimborne on Saturday 12th November, Honey, a pedigree Cavalier King Charles spaniel features in a big party scene in the show.

copy-of-img_1061Honey is an 18 month old female and as is with this breed has a lovely calm temperament and is very affectionate and sociable. She is owned by a local family who have kindly allowed her to ‘perform’ in the show – and she seems to be loving it

Society chairman Sylvia Walpole said: “At our recent rehearsal Honey has been just that quietly sitting and patiently waiting her cue. I must get all the members to do that. Does she steal the show? Well you will have to come to find out.”

The show features songs made famous from the early rock n rollers through to the ‘flower power’ groups, plus a few world famous songs from musicals of the time that have become standards today.

Once again WMTS have put together a strong team of local performers for their show which they will be performing at the Wimborne Tivoli Theatre on Saturday 12th November with a 2.30pm matinee and a 7.30pm evening performance.

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In the News: Dog Scoops Sweet Role (Bournemouth Echo)


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