Beverley Knight can carry pretty much any West End show with her extraordinary yet seemingly effortless vocals. With the return of Sister Act to the West End she takes on the role of lounge singer Dolores Van Cartier, alongside Ruth Jones (Gavin and Stacey) as a decidedly Welsh Mother Superior.

‘Sister Act: A Divine Musical Comedy’ is adapted from the 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg, with the addition of music by legendary composer Alan Menken and Lyricist Glenn Slater in 2009. It’s a fairly preposterous story about Dolores being hidden in a nunnery by the police after witnessing her gangster boyfriend commit murder (played by Lamar). The nuns sing terribly, and the church is up for sale until Dolores transforms the choir into a thing of camp splendour and donations come shooting in.

If the film was a vehicle for Goldberg’s comic genius, the casting of Beverley Knight is all about her voice, albeit set against a throng of sequinned nuns who light up the Dominion stage. Stand out numbers include ‘Take me to Heaven,’ ‘It’s good to be a nun’ and ‘Sister Act.’ That said, there is plenty of comedy too; Knights’ version of the Lord’s prayer before supper is hilarious, Mother Superior delivers some fabulous one liners and Curtis Jackson’s henchmen hit the ball out of the park in ‘Lady in the Long Dress’.

What the show ultimately delivers beyond the sparkles is a heart-warming chorus of sisterhood. Dolores has had a rough ride with her violent boyfriend and now she has a convent full of friends who will stand by her no matter what. For her part, Knight’s sassy and fearless heroine transforms the lives of the nuns, awakening Sister Mary Robert (played by Lizzie Bea) to the possibilities of life beyond good behaviour in ‘The Life I never Led.’

Sister Act is a joyous theatrical treat and fans of Beverley Knight, Ruth Jones or sequinned habits will not be disappointed.

Photo credit: Johan Persson

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