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Sheila Hancock, Patina Miller cast in Sister Act
Casting has been confirmed for the musical comedy Sister Act, which opens at the London Palladium on 2 June 2009, following previews from 7 May - booking to 13 Feb 2010.
Sheila Hancock (Mother Superior), Patina Miller (Deloris Van Cartier), Ian Lavender (Monsignor Howard), Chris Jarman (Shank), Ako Mitchell (Eddie), Katie Rowley Jones (Sister Mary Robert), Claire Greenway (Sister Mary Patrick), Julia Sutton (Sister Mary Lazarus), Thomas Goodridge (TJ), Nicolas Colicos (Bones), Ivan De Freitas (Dinero).
Whoopi Goldberg says: “I am proud to announce that we’ve finally found you an amazing girl to play Deloris. It wasn't easy, but we did it. And boy, can she sing (unlike some people we know – me!). And in order to match her, we went for the best and we got the brilliant… Sheila Hancock is our Mother Superior, a legend and not just in my mind. I think together they will reinvent SISTER ACT and bring it to a whole new level…can you tell I'm excited?”
The cast also includes Vanessa Barmby, Amy Booth-Steel, Julian Cannonier, Ben Clare, Helen Colby, Kate Coyston, Jennie Dale, Jaymz Denning, Nia Fisher, Alison Harding, Paul Kemble, Debbie Kurup, George Long, Hugh Maynard, Jo Napthine, Aysa O’Flaherty, Landi Oshinowo, Verity Quade, Helen Walsh , Emma Woods.
Sheila Hancock's London stage credits include "The Birthday Party" at the Lyric Hammersmith in 2008; Cabaret" at the Lyric in 2006; "The Anniversary" at the Garrick in 2005;"Under the Blue Sky" at the Royal Court Upstairs in 2000; "Vassa" at the Albery in 1999; "Harry and Me" at the Royal Court Downstairs in 1996.
24 year old US actress Patina Miller will make her West End debut playing the lead role of ‘Deloris Van Cartier' (made famous by Whoopi Goldberg in the Sister Act movie) . Born and raised in South Carolina, Patina’s previous credits include the 2008 production of Hair in New York.
Ian Lavender is best known as Private Frank Pike in the 60s/70s BBC comedy series Dad's Army; and Derek Harkinson in BBC1 soap opera EastEnders.
Based on the 1992 film, the stage musical has music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner.
It is directed by Peter Schneider, designed by Klara Zieglerova, choreography by Anthony Van Laast, lighting by Natasha Katz, sound by Mick Potter, Musical Director Nick Skilbeck.
It is produced by Whoopi Goldberg and Stage Entertainment.
The musical premiered at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California in October 2006.
When disco diva Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a murder, she is put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won't be found - a convent! Disguised as a nun she quickly finds fans amongst her fellow ‘sisters’ but makes the wrong impression on the convent’s strict Mother Superior. When she turns her attention to the convent’s off-key choir, helping the nuns to find their true voices and breathing new life into the rundown neighbourhood, her cover could be blown for good. With the gang giving chase, is time running out for Deloris? Or have they underestimated the power of her new found Sisterhood?