Real nuns get in on the Sister Act at Sunderland's Fire Station Auditorium

Stars of the hit musical Sister Act met with with some real nuns after a performance at the Fire Station Auditorium by art students from the University of Sunderland.

Friday, 18th March 2022, 3:12 pm

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Their first matinee performance was watched by six Sisters of Mercy from St Anthony’s Convent of Mercy, in Oaklea. They thoroughly enjoyed the show.

The nuns were in the spotlight themselves during lockdown in 2020, when they sang uplifting hymns during the NHS Clap for Heroes and made news bulletins around the world.

Sister Act the Musical is based on the 1992 film starring Whoopi Goldberg. It follows the story of a lounge singer forced to join a convent when she goes on the run from the mob.

The Sisters of Mercy meet some of the Sister Act cast. Picture by David Wood.

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The Sisters of Mercy actively support charities and schools and are once again active in the Wearside community.

Sister Josepha, who plays guitar and led the Clap for Heroes singing sessions, said: “We all loved Sister Act. It was a very professional performance and very inspiring.

“It made you laugh, but it was also quite moving in parts too. The musical reflects on choices we all made when we were younger and was a reminder of why we made those choices.”

The Sisters of Mercy meet Sister Act’s nuns and performers. Picture by David Wood.

Mother Superior Sister Adrienne added: “We’ve come through a lot over the last two years and I think sharing so much time together because of Covid has made us all more musically creative. So Sister Act was a perfect show for us.”

Performing arts student Kacey Smith starred in the show, the first musical production staged at the new £12m auditorium.

Kacey said: “It was a privilege and an honour to have the sisters with us for our first performance. Once we saw them in the audience, I think the energy levels from the cast went up a notch. They inspired us.

“It was great to meet them after the show. They were so lovely and asked us loads of questions about ourselves and the show.”

The Sisters of Mercy meet some of the Sister Act cast. Picture by David Wood.

Fire Station director Tamsin Austin said: “It was great to welcome the Sisters from St Anthony’s Convent of Mercy to our venue, as well as the University of Sunderland students.

"It was inspiring to see them mix so well after the show had finished.”

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The Sisters of Mercy meet some of the Sister Act cast. Picture by David Wood.

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