They’re nuns who’ve unleashed their inner divas, habits swirling as they dance up a storm while belting out a fabulous disco tune. It can only be a scene from Sister Act, the film-turned-musical that’s coming to the Haymarket in May.
Fans of the film will remember Whoopi Goldberg as nightclub singer Deloris, forced to hide in a convent and inspiring the nuns to find their voices. In the rehearsal room, it’s the job of musical director Rachel Glover to turn the ladies of BATS into a credible line-up of showstopping sisters.
“They’ve really thrown themselves into it!” says Rachel. “There are lots of complicated harmonies to learn but they’re doing a great job!"
The songs are an exuberant mix of 1970s styles. “There are little nods to artists like Chic, Barry White and Kool and the Gang. It’s a lot of fun – a real feelgood musical!” Watching on is Sally Manning, who plays the disapproving Mother Superior, played by Maggie Smith in the film.
“I’m trying to protect the convent from the disruption Deloris brings,” explains Sally. “The hardest thing is keeping a straight face! There are some very funny performances from the other nuns but I’ve got to stay serious.”
Sally’s incredible voice is showcased in two big numbers. “It’s my first time on stage in ten years, but I knew I had to be in Sister Act,” says Sally. “It’s one of my favourite musicals.” Judging by the fun everyone’s having in rehearsal, Sister Act looks set to win many more fans.
Six performances of Sister Act run from Tuesday 12th - Saturday 16th May. Performances start at 7:30pm with a 2:30pm Saturday matinee.