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Friday, 22 July 2016

Preview: Sister Act at Sunderland Empire





First Look At Rehearsals For Sister Act
Sister Act
Sunderland Empire
Monday 5th – Saturday 10th September 2016

Rehearsals are in full swing for the national tour of Curve’s all new production of the hit musical comedy Sister Act, directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood.

Sister Act Rehearsals
Photo: Tristram Kenton
Based on the smash hit movie starring Whoopi Goldberg and Maggie Smith, Sister Act opens at Curve, Leicester on Saturday 30th July 2016 ahead of performances at Sunderland Empire from Monday 5th – Saturday 10th September 2016 and tells the hilarious story of Deloris Van Cartier, a disco diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder. Under protective custody she is hidden in the one place she won’t be found – a convent! Disguised as a nun and under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own.

Sister Act Rehearsals
Photo: Tristram Kenton
This all new production of Sister Act is directed and choreographed by Craig Revel Horwood with musical supervision and arrangements by Tony Award-Winner Sarah Travis. Set and costume design is by Matthew Wright, with lighting design by Richard G Jones and sound design by Richard Brooker.

Sister Act Rehearsals
Photo: Tristram Kenton
With Alexandra Burke as ‘Deloris Van Cartier’ Joanna Francis as ‘Michelle’, Jon Robyns as ‘Eddie’, Karen Mann as ‘Mother Superior’ and Rosemary Ashe as ‘Sister Mary Lazarus’. Alexandra Burke will perform the role of ‘Deloris Van Cartier’ at all evening performances. At the matinee performances, the role of ‘Deloris Van Cartier’ will be played by Joanna Francis.

Sister Act Rehearsals
Photo: Tristram Kenton
Aaron Lee Lambert will play ‘Curtis’, Sarah Goggin ‘Sister Mary Robert’, Susannah Van Den Berg ‘Sister Mary Patrick’, Allison Harding ‘Sister Mary Theresa’, Ricky Rojas ‘Pablo’, Samuel Morgan-Grahame as ‘Joey’ and Sandy Grigelis as ‘TJ’. The company also includes Nicola Bryan, Jennifer Douglas, Aiesha Pease, Sally Peerless and Justin Wilman. 

Sister Act Rehearsals
Photo: Tristram Kenton
Alexandra Burke returns to the North East following starring as ‘Rachel Marron’ in the national tour of “The Bodyguard”, a part she also played in the West End. She originally rose to fame after winning the fifth series of The X Factor. Her debut number one single Hallelujah sold over one million copies in the UK, a first for a British female soloist. Burke’s first album, Overcome saw the release of her subsequent number one singles Bad Boys and Start Without You. In 2011 she embarked on her first solo tour and was invited by Beyoncé to support her I Am... Tour. Her second album, Heartbreak on Hold, was released in June 2012.

Joanna Francis has recently finished performing in the West End production of “The Lion King”. Her other credits include “Carmen Jones” at the Royal Festival Hall, “The Harder They Come” at the Barbican and Stratford East and as ‘Sybil’ in “The Big Life” at the Apollo Theatre.

Sister Act Rehearsals
Photo: Tristram Kenton
Jon Robynshas played many leading roles in the West End including ‘Rod/Princeton’ in the original cast of “Avenue Q” at the Noel Coward Theatre, ‘Marius’ in “Les Miserables” at the Queen’s Theatre, ‘Galahad’ in “Spamalot” at the Harold Pinter and Playhouse Theatres, Alternate ‘Huey’ in “Memphis” at the Shaftesbury Theatre and ‘Hollis’ in “Road Show” at the Menier Chocolate Factory. His other theatre credits include ‘Enjolras’ in the 25th Anniversary tour of “Les Miserables”, ‘Caractacus Potts’ in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and most recently ‘Emmett Forrest’ in “Legally Blonde” at Curve, Leicester. 

Karen Mann’s extensive theatre credits include ‘Golde’ opposite Paul Michael Glaser in the national tour of “Fiddler on the Roof”, the national tour of “I Dreamed A Dream – the Susan Boyle Story” and “Copacabana”, “Martin Guerre” and “Spend, Spend, Spend”, all at the Watermill Theatre. She most recently appeared in “The Witches”, both at Curve, Leicesterand on tour.

Rosemary Ashe’s many West End credits include creating the roles of ‘Carlotta’ in “The Phantom of the Opera” at Her Majesty’s Theatre, ‘Miss Andrew’ in “Mary Poppins” at the Prince Edward Theatre and ‘Felicia Gabriel’ in “The Witches of Eastwick” at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, for which she was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical. Her other theatre credits include “When We Are Married” at the Garrick Theatre, “Widow Corney” in “Oliver!” at the London Palladium and ‘Grandma Mole’ in the musical of “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 and ¾” at Curve, Leicester.

Craig Revel Horwood is probably best known as a judge on BBC One’s “Strictly Come Dancing”. As a director and choreographer his many credits include the recent all-star concert of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies” at the Royal Albert Hall, “Sunset Boulevard” at the Comedy theatre in the West End, the national tours of “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Spend Spend Spend” and “Chess” (also Toronto) and “The Witches of Eastwick”, “Martin Guerre” and “Copacabana”, all at the Watermill Theatre. Craig also wrote and directed a brand new show, “Strictly Confidential” that toured the UK starring familiar faces from Strictly Come Dancing as well as the annual arena tours of “Strictly Come Dancing”.  As a performer his West End Theatre credits include: 'Munkustrap' in “Cats” at the New London Theatre, “Miss Saigon” at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and ‘Harry’ in “Crazy for You” at the Prince Edward Theatre. Craig most recently starred as ‘Miss Hannigan’ in the national tour of “Annie”.

Sister Act has music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Glenn Slater, with a book by Cheri Steinkellner and Bill Steinkellner and additional book material by Douglas Carter Beane. Based on the Touchstone Pictures Motion Picture “Sister Act” written by Jacob Howard.

Jamie Wilson Productions was formed in 2008 and has produced over 50 productions in the UK and internationally. These include Bruce Forsyth at the London Palladium, Robin Cousin’s Ice and most recently the critically acclaimed and box office hits Calamity Jane and Tell Me on a Sunday, both with Jodie Prenger. Jamie Wilson Productions is currently working with the Watermill Theatre on Crazy for You with Tom Chambers.

Tickets:
Tickets available from the Box Office on High Street West, via the ticket centre 0844 871 3022* or www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland *calls cost up to 7p per minute plus standard network charges. Booking and transaction fees may apply to telephone and online bookings.




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