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Review: Sister Act, Liverpool Empire Theatre

Alexandra Burke stars in the UK tour directed and choreographed by Strictly's Craig Revel Horwood

Alexandra Burke in a scene from Sister Act (Image: Tristram Kenton)

Taking on the lead role in a hit musical is becoming something of a habit for singer Alexandra Burke.

The 2008 X Factor winner is fresh out of a critically acclaimed UK tour of The Bodyguard, where she starred as Rachel Marron, a role made famous by Whitney Houston in the Hollywood movie.

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Now she’s making fresh headlines as Deloris Van Cartier, a rising 1970s singer who witnesses her smooth lover Curtis (Aaron Lee Lambert) murder a police informer.

Fearing for her life, the police place her in witness protection in a run-down Philadelphia convent under the guise of Sister Mary Clarence.

(Image: Tristram Kenton)

Following in the footsteps of film star Whoopi Goldberg is no mean feat, but Burke makes the comical part her own.

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Her witty gospel sounding vocal performance was simply outstanding and demonstrates the pop star has perhaps found her true ‘calling’.

She is of course backed by an amazing ensemble of Sisters led by the brilliant Mother Superior (Karen Mann) whose faith in God is tested to the limit by Sister Mary Clarence.

(Image: Tristram Kenton)

The stage production has been given a slight overhaul under the direction of choreographer Strictly’s Craig Revel Horwood.

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Unusually, the musicians, normally found in the pit, are part of the stage production with the sisters playing saxophones, flutes and even a trumpet.

Even the police are part of the orchestra, with the love interest cop ‘sweaty’ Eddie (Jon Robyns) swapping his gun for a guitar.

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This 'fabulous' production, set to a simple yet effective backdrop, is energetic, funny and has real soul.

Sister Act can be seen at the Liverpool Empire until Saturday, October 15.

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