From the auditions in mid-October to choreography sessions this March, the school’s production of Sister Act has taken a lot of dedication from its 40 cast members, teachers, and the school community. On the whole, the process was a rewarding one for everyone involved, but we all had our fair share of challenges to overcome. Whether it be finding our dancing feet, being prepared to sing out in front of a crowd or just urging ourselves to take part, the whole cast came together and united to create a production that we could not wait for you to see.
Sister Act tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a jazz singer in the 1970s who finds sanctuary in a convent when she finds herself in a dangerous situation. Against the odds, she befriends the nuns and helps them to find the voice they never had, creating unconventional friendships and an empowering story of unconditional love.
As an avid fan of theatre, it was incredible to be a part of this production, and having being involved in the production of High School Musical in 2017 and knowing what the drama and music departments are capable of, I can confidently say they have outdone themselves. Due to the mass of nuns within the production, we had more full cast rehearsals than previous productions, and although these had proved strenuous for us all, it was entirely worth it. As we approached the performances, the excitement grew as we saw our hard work paying off in large scale rehearsals on the stage. There is a brilliant dynamic within the show due to the contrasting of the fun-loving sisters in the convent, and the rival characters consisting of gangsters who are set out to kill Deloris. Despite being a part of the action on stage, the enjoyment factor was tangible even when we rehearsed, with the cast laughing and tapping their feet along with the action on stage, so we knew the audience was in for a real treat.
The songs were lead by Mrs Harrison and Mr Forbes, which contain powerful and meaningful messages that stuck in our heads for hours after rehearsals, and the choreography, created by ex-student Lauren Gordon, brought the entirety together, making us feel like the performances were our reality! There were so many smiling faces at rehearsals, even though we had often been at school all day prior to them, which just goes to show how much passion we had and still have for this piece.
If the rehearsals weren’t fun enough, we put our all in the shows themselves, with audience member Emily Dougal in Year 12, saying ‘Sister Act was by far the best show I have seen at KEVI’. The audience was absolutely enthralled, as were the cast, crew and staff. Feedback received from parents was extraordinary, saying ‘it would not have been out of place in any professional theatre!’ as well as that they had never seen a show ‘where the cast worked together so much and visually showed how much they were enjoying it’.
We could not have been more overwhelmed at the passion our audiences had for the show! Extra seating had to be put in on the final night, the night we received our standing ovation from 280 audience members! Our hearts were warmed that something we had worked so hard on, whether it be our first school show or our last, had been adored as much from those watching than by those performing.
It goes without saying that it could not have been done without our brilliant teachers: Mrs Anderson, Mrs Stephen, Mrs Harrison, Mr Forbes and Lauren Gordon as well as Jonathan Hughes and all his help with the tech crew. Hopefully, productions in the years to come are as enthralling as Sister Act; it has meant so much to the cast to be involved and many of us can not wait to come back and do it all again. See you in 2021!
Article by Rosie Bowden, year 12