LONDON: Thursday 7th May 2009: Producers of the divine new musical comedy, Sister Act, sparked nun fever in the capital this morning by abseiling six nuns down the front of the iconic London Palladium.
The stunt was pulled by producers Whoopi Goldberg and Stage Entertainment to mark the start of the show previews.
The six nuns, clad in full habits complete with black patent stilettos, scaled the Grade II listed building much to the surprise of onlookers. Traffic came to a standstill as thousands of tourists and office workers stared open mouthed at the extraordinary sight.
Bill Taylor, producer of Sister Act commented, “We’re hoping Sister Act fever will be taking the capital by storm, and we’re celebrating our first preview by stamping our mark on the wonderful London Palladium with our fearless sisters. The nun fun is just beginning!”
The London Palladium, which houses Sister Act’s West End opening, has played host to a number of stars and shows across the years including Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Kylie Minogue, The Beatles, Julie Andrews, Judy Garland, The Sound of Music, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Saturday Night Fever and The King and I.
After a year long global search, 24 year old US actress Patina Miller has been cast to make her West End debut playing the lead role of ‘Deloris Van Cartier’ in the divine new musical comedy Sister Act. Born and raised in South Carolina, Patina’s previous credits include the critically acclaimed 2008 production of Hair in New York and the hit US soap All My Children. The role of Deloris in Sister Act was made famous by Whoopi Goldberg in the movie of the same name, and Goldberg is a co-producer of the stage version.
Starring alongside Patina will be Sheila Hancock as ‘Mother Superior’. To many, a national treasure and a multi-BAFTA nominee, Sheila’s career spans theatre, television, radio and film and she won a 2007 Olivier Award for her performance in Cabaret. Dad’s Army and EastEnders actor Ian Lavender also stars as ‘Monsignor Howard’. Sister Act opens at the London Palladium on 2 June, following previews from today, 7 May.
Sister Act features a score by Alan Menken, eight-time Oscar winner and composer of many of the world famous songs from Disney’s movies, including The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, Aladdin and Enchanted, with lyrics from his long- time collaborator Glenn Slater. The book is by the award-winning team Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, whose writing credits include the classic television comedy Cheers, and the production is directed by Peter Schneider.
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