Thomas Hardye Theatre, Queen’s Avenue, Dorchester 

Based on the 1992 film, the show follows night club diva Deloris Van Cartier as she is forced to go into hiding after witnessing a murder by her gangster boyfriend.

While awaiting his trial, Deloris – who is hardly inconspicuous - is hidden in a place where nobody would suspect; a convent! What could possibly go wrong?

Sister Act is a challenging musical for an amateur group to undertake, but WMT have certainly pulled it off and you leave the theatre smiling and possibly wiping away a tear or two.

As much as this show is funny, it’s also a wonderful story of love and friendship found in the most unexpected places.

From the opening scene, the audience is gripped by Shakira Berrisford leading the cast as Deloris; she doesn’t put a foot wrong, and gives an exceptional performance.

Her comic timing, movement and stunning vocals, and later with her sublime rendering of the title song, ‘Sister Act’ which displays tenderness and pathos, all show that Berrisford ticks every box plus a few more.

Stella Brading gives a beautiful performance, playing the strong and un-bending Mother Superior of the convent who can show a fragile and compassionate side to great effect and you know that the show is safe when she is onstage; she nails her complex songs, especially highlighted during ‘I Haven’t Got a Prayer’.

The bad guys – Paul Brewster leading Ralph Ricardo, Darrell Hounsome and David Clinch – are funny, with the edge of nastiness when needed.

Paul Jones displays his singing and comedic talents effortlessly as ‘sweaty’ Eddie the cop, an erstwhile admirer of Deloris, while Monsignor O’Hara is played sensitively and believably by Peter Lindsley. Deloris’s backing group, played by Rhian Stroud and Nikki Hicks, complement her very well.

It is not always the case with a musical, but in this production the ensemble are all ‘fabulous baby’ and the nuns in particular simply light up the stage.

Every single member on stage plays their character to perfection.

There are other very strong performances, such as Sisters Mary Lazarus and Mary Patrick (Laura Buckland and Zoe Bamford) whose comedy portrayals and zest for the roles is outstanding, and Abigail Brewster’s Sister Mary Robert displays a beautiful voice in a poignant song ‘The Life I Never Led’.

The WMT Musical Director is Jon May and he has rehearsed the cast to within an inch of its life.

It is not always easy to sing with a backing track, albeit a professional one which adds so much to the production, but the cast has responded so very well to Jon, and the harmonies in particular are superb.

As if there was not enough to occupy her in her lead role, Shakira Berrisford is also the choreographer for Sister Act, and the musical numbers are slick and joyous to watch.

Seventh Wave Audio completes the professionalism and it is a pleasure to be able to hear both musical numbers and libretto clearly.

Tom Howden in his WMT directorial debut shows that his talents are many as he steps away from being in the footlights as a leading man for the society, and has instilled his vision and passion for this show into the cast.

Make sure that you get a ticket for this show while there are still a few left on sale!

Sister Act continues at the Thomas Hardye Theatre, Dorchester tonight, tomorrow and Saturday each evening at 7.30pm, with an extra matinee on Saturday at 2.30pm.

Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite at