Take me to church

As I queued outside a Marylebone church on a rainy afternoon in November, i started to question my reason for ever purchasing tickets to a screening of Sister Act. However, when i got inside, my fears were well and truly allayed. The church was beautiful, with chandeliers, organs and stained glass windows at every turn.

The event was scheduled to last from 2-5pm, with advice to arrive 30 minutes ahead of time. Although seating was unallocated, tickets were purchased in a specific area of the church e.g. ground floor pews, balcony pews right/left. We arrived at 1.30pm and after walking straight up to the balcony, were rewarded with seats with a perfect view.

Unfortunately there was quite a wait until the film started (approx. 90 minutes), but with background music to listen to and anticipation building about when the event would kick-off, the atmosphere was almost enough to make you forget.

I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to work, screening a film, but having an accompanying choir and live band. It seemed like there was too much to fit in and too much that could go wrong, but then again, if it all went right, that would be a pretty amazing show.

Luckily I didn’t have to wait long to find out. Soon the choir were walking down the aisle and taking their places on the altar pews. As Delores & The Ronelles took to the silver screen, it was time for the singers to strut their stuff. The onstage trio echoed their onscreen counterparts in sound and attire and did the Reno cabaret scene proud. Once they’d finished the number, they went back to their pews and our attention returned to the big screen.

When it came to the next song, the choir truly flexed their vocal muscles. The first performance was good, but it was nothing compared to the ones that followed. I’ve always wanted to see a gospel choir live and now i can truly say i have. From Rescue Me to My Guy to I Will Follow Him, the songs never failed to impress.

If we thought the fun would be over when the film finished, we could not have been more wrong. The choir ripped off their choral robes to reveal brightly coloured t-shirts and burst into a more freestyle performance. The whole audience were on their feet, dancing away and singing to their heart’s content, it was truly amazing.

The film and venue definitely played their part in my opinion of this production, but i’ll be keeping my eyes open for the next Amacoast cinema production on their website or Facebook page to see if they can tempt me again in the future.

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