If you have never seen a production staged by the hugely impressive Wakefield Youth Music Theatre then you are doing yourself, and them, a disservice.
Forget that they are a bunch of amateur performers, aged between nine and 20, and realise that everything they do is touched with gold - I can’t praise them enough.
If that’s gushing, then I make no apologies.
Everything about Sister Act is first class from the staging, the live music, the costumes, the tightly choreographed numbers (sometimes with upwards of 50 on the tiny Theatre Royal, Wakefield stage) but most of all the singing and acting of the cast.
Taking the lead and to rapturous applause is 16-year-old Antonia Opare-Amo as Deloris Van Cartier, the aspiring performer who has to hide among the nuns when a contract is put out on her life. It’s a demanding role with soaring vocals and a lot of on-stage time. Antonia meets the challenges head-on and her performance is pitched perfectly.
Also stand-out is Dan Romano as thuggish gangster Curtis. He played Jean Valjean in last year’s production of Les Miserables and his portrayal of the villain of the piece in Sister Act is at times humorous, at others menacing.
James Bradshaw as Monsignor O’Hara also takes a great part although his Irish brogue could do with a bit of polishing at times!
Kaytie-Jo Genty has a beautiful singing voice and her portrayal of the uptight Mother Superior who wants to keep her charges insulated from the outside world is superb.
If I have one slight criticism it is that the American accents of the nuns, which takes their voices up an octave, can jar at times.
Huge congratulations to all involved in this production you did yourselves proud - I'm already looking forward next year's production of Oklahoma, my favourite Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.