Denise to arrive in Mother Superior role

Portsmouth-born Denise Black will be performing as Mother Superior in Sister Act at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton on February 21-March 3.

Portsmouth-born Denise Black will be performing as Mother Superior in Sister Act at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton on February 21-March 3.

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It tells the classic tale of overcoming hardship in the face of adversity – and turning a group of nuns into an all-singing all-dancing choir.

Based on the Whoopie Goldberg film, Sister Act The Musical follows Deloris Van Cartier, a Las Vegas showgirl who witnesses a murder, and is put in protective custody in the one place she’ll never be found.

But she instantly makes the wrong impression with the convent’s Mother Superior, who’s played by none other than Portsmouth’s own, Denise Black.

Well-known for playing Denise Osbourne in the Coronation Street, and Hazel Tyler in Channel 4’s Queer As Folk in 1999, she’s loving performing in her very first musical.

Denise says: ‘I’m really enjoying it. I’ve never done a show for this many months and I always avoid repetition. I couldn’t bare the idea of doing 15 months at first, but I love it.

‘I love the people involved. There’s many many people I could pick out, and of course there’s Cynthia Erivo (Deloris) who’s this brilliant young talent with such a voice.’

But playing the part of a strict nun in a musical is definitely new territory for the actress. But she has always sang.

She adds: ‘She has some great one liners, and she’s very funny. She has wonderful songs, and even gets to dance. I love playing comedy, and I’ve never done this kind of very dry wit.

‘I got the offer to do Sister Act when I was in Hayling Island with my mum, and my dad said to me you’re going to do it, aren’t you? They were thrilled that I had this opportunity as it’s singing everyday. It’s a stable job and I’m very happy.’

Denise will be back in Portsmouth again on March 30-31 at Cellars at Eastney, to perform with her band, Denise Black’s Loose Screw.

She explains: ‘It’s very nice for me. I’ve also been learning the auto harp, so that will have its first outing in the performance!’

But coming to the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton is just as exciting, as she’s so close to home.

Denise says: ‘There’s lots of people coming on the 24th to see the show. I think my sister is bringing along about 55 people. Also my dad doesn’t often get to see me. I’m thrilled about it.’

Tickets cost £20 to £40 from Mayflower Theatre, Southampton on (023) 8071 1811 or go to mayflower.org.uk.

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