Sister Act

4
Wed, 29th Oct 14
BLOC production at the Bristol Hippodrome

Once a year we get the delight of the Bristol Light Operatic performing at the Bristol Hippodrome and this year was no exception. What they lack in across-the-board professionalism they always more than make up for in sheer commitment, enthusiasm and style! On this occasion there was little on stage that did not match the professionals (who toured this show to this venue back in 2012). Emma Watkins as Delores and Grace Macdonald as Sister Mary Robert had superb voices and stage presence and the "chorus of nuns" were drilled to perfection and gave it their all. I wish the brokers men (!) had achieved a higher levl of togetherness in their super dance routines as the better they are as a backing band the funnier it is but the on-stage work was pretty well flawless. Simon Vardakis, on the other hand, was trully fab - a lovely, credible performance.

Direction was odd, I'm afraid. Going to silent black for scene changes is really rather old fashioned and leads to odd moments of half-seen running legs and stage crew. In fact the changes were rather noisy and obtrusive for my liking, made more so (not less) by the blackout which (sorry to go on) kills the pace. Too much static, stage-centre, face-front for my liking as well - something a little more "natural" to the plot and staging always seems a little less "concert" performance. A few technical issues with mics, sound levels and lost light caused me to wince but hopefully that was just first-night fingers and thumbs.

A good night out, I look forward to next year's production!


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