Close this search box.

Review: Sister Act arrives at Palace Theatre and ‘it’s better than springtime!’

Sister Act is a big 'must see' hit at Palace Theatre Manchester
Sister Act

The Broadway and UK-award winning production of Sister Act is back in the habit at Palace Theatre in Manchester, starring Coronation Street star Sue Cleaver and West End star Landi Oshinowo.

It’s a brilliant, must-see show sent from above, warming souls with nostalgia, comedy and excellent musical performances.

Sister Act at the Palace Theatre

Sister Act is a delightful adaptation of the popular 1992 musical-comedy of the same name, brought to life on stage with vibrant energy and enthusiastic performances, helmed by musical director Tom Slade, whose credits include The Cher Show. 

A top performance from Landi Oshinowo

As with the film starring Whoopi Goldberg, Deloris Van Cartier (The Color Purple’s Landi Oshinowo), a Philadelphian disco diva, is forced into hiding after witnessing a murder by the hands of her mobster boyfriend, Curtis (Ian Gareth-Jones). 

Lieutenant Eddie Souther (Alfie Parker) hides Deloris in the one place she won’t be found; a convent.

While trying to adapt to the rigid rules of being a nun, Deloris is encouraged to help the struggling choir find their voices while rediscovering her own in the process. 

Like Whoopi Goldberg, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance, Landi effortlessly embodies the spirited nightclub singer-turned-nun.

Powerhouse vocals and stage presence

With powerhouse vocals combined with a magnetic stage presence and dry-comedic timing, Landi is the heart of the production, able to navigate Deloris’ journey from a reluctant and sassy songstress to an empathetic choir conductor.

An amazing score from Alan Menken

Sister Act

Featuring original music by Tony and eight-time Oscar Award winner Alan Menken – the genius composer behind songs for Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin – Sister Act is an electrifying blend of Motown, soul and disco that perfectly encapsulates the uptempo music of the 1970s.

Alan brings his signature modern flair for melodies and musical theatre elements to this production, with the music serving not only to entertain but deepen the relationship between the Holy Order of the Sisters as well as the emotional resonance of the story. 

With fantastic lyrics from Glenn Slater, the entire cast delivers powerhouse performances, from ‘Raise Your Voice’ as Deloris encourages the hesitant nuns to embrace their voices through a powerful anthem about empowerment which builds to a triumphant crescendo, to the disco-infused ‘Fabulous, Baby!’ that showcases Deloris’ larger-than-life personality and desire for stardom.

The Sister Act cast

The cast of Sister Act is nothing short of sensational, with each star shining as bright as Deloris’ sequin dress, bringing their own unique talent and charisma to the smallest of roles. The mobsters that flank Curtis get to show off their individual personalities in ‘Lady in the Long Black Dress’, with goofy nephew TJ (Elliot Gooch) consistently stealing the show whenever on stage.

Meanwhile, the sisters of Saint Katherine’s Parish deliver their own outstanding performances. Isabel Canning as Sister Mary Patrick is able to match original actress Kathy Najimy’s terminally delightful energy to perfection; while Eloise Runnette (Legally Blonde) is able to imitate Sister Mary Robert’s soft-spoken nature and eventual burst of musical energy as she grows in confidence.

Coronation Street’s Sue Cleaver

Coronation Street’s Sue Cleaver was met with thunderous applause from the audience as she appeared on stage as Mother Superior, playing Maggie Smith’s stern yet compassionate character effortlessly, as she faces the church’s potential closure while butting heads with Deloris’s ideas for revamping their image.

While I found the romance between Deloris and Eddie to be an unnecessary addition to Sister Act the musical that didn’t add much to the story, the same can’t be said for the rest of the adaptation, provided by Emmy Award winners Cheri and Bill Steinkellner.

Just like the film, the musical sees Deloris and Mother Superior’s friendship develop as they learn from each other, a core theme of the original movie. As Deloris begins to understand the selflessness that comes with being part of a convent, Mother Superior expands her views on how the church can fit into the modern world (albeit, in the 70s) and finds her voice along with the other nuns. 

The adaptation successfully captures the essence of the film and its characters, while also adding its unique flourishes perfect for the stage. Set and costume designer Morgan Large brings the colourful yet dilapidated nature of 1970s Philadelphia to life, from the glittering lights of Deloris’ nightclub to the serene convent chapel, immersing the audience in the story even further.

Don’t miss it. It’s better than springtime!

Tickets to Sister Act at the Palace Theatre

Just as Deloris is able to adapt the convent to 70s disco, the creative team behind Sister Act translates the nostalgia, energy and humour of the movie to the stage exceptionally well, creating a musical experience that will delight new fans and those who first watched the movie 31 years ago. 

You can see Sister Act at the Palace Theatre Manchester from 18 to 30 March 2024.

You can get tickets by clicking here – but move fast, these are hot properties!


Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

Want to be the first to receive all the latest news stories, what’s on and events from the heart of Manchester? Sign up here.


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

Got a story worth sharing?

What’s the story? We are all ears when it comes to positive news and inspiring stories. You can send story ideas to [email protected]

Close this search box.