Simon Webbe Joins London's Sister Act; Sheila Hancock Extends

News   Simon Webbe Joins London's Sister Act; Sheila Hancock Extends Pop singer Simon Webbe, a member of the boyband Blue and a solo recording artist as well, will join the London company of Sister Act, beginning performances May 31. It has also been announced that Sheila Hancock, who originated the role of the Mother Superior, has extended her contract for three further months in the show, through the end of August.

Webbe will take over the role of Curtis Shank, the bad-boy lover of the story's heroine, Deloris Van Cartier. As a member of Blue, Webbe has been part of a group that have sold more than 13 million records worldwide, scoring eleven Top Ten hits and four Top Ten albums in the U.K. alone. He has also released two best-selling solo albums, including the hits "Lay Your Hands," "No Worries" and "After All This Time," and he is currently working on a third. He has also appeared on numerous television shows around the world, including a run on series eight of "I’m A Celebrity...." on ITV1. Film credits include "The Truth About Love" (with Jennifer Love Hewitt) and "Rolling With The Nines." His leading role in Sister Act marks his West End debut.

In a press statement, he has commented, "I knew from the minute the curtain went up and the band kicked in that this was a show I wanted to be in. The audition process was nerve wracking of course, but it just made me more determined to get the part. I’ve performed to thousands and thousands of people with Blue, but to be playing this role, on stage at the London Palladium is going to be something else completely, and I’m honoured to be doing it opposite Patina [Miller, who plays Deloris], Sheila and this brilliant company. I literally can’t wait!"

Hancock, who is currently also appearing as a judge on the BBC's "Over the Rainbow" casting show to find an actress to play Dorothy in a new stage production of The Wizard of Oz, had originally signed to appear for six months. In a press statement, she has commented, "This is fast becoming a habit isn’t it! I’m as passionate about Sister Act today as the day we opened. Whilst it’s fair to say I’ve got a pretty busy schedule at the moment, and this is probably the last long run I’ll do, when the opportunity arose to continue performing with this wonderful company, I knew I couldn’t really turn it down. Here’s to our second summer at the London Palladium." She will only appear for five out of the eight weekly scheduled performances; patrons are advised to check when booking.

The show's co-producer Whoopi Goldberg commented, "We're so thrilled that the fabulous Sheila Hancock will continue to trade her judge's robes for a nun's habit for another three months. She is truly a force of nature and we're so grateful to have her in our production of Sister Act. And, what can I say about the delicious and talented Simon Webbe, except that we are honoured to welcome him to the family. We're so fortunate to have one of the most gifted and exciting casts in the West End and the audiences are in for a treat."

Also newly joining the company from May 31 are Jacqueline Clarke as Sister Mary Lazarus and ensemble members Lauren Appleby, Kiara Jay, Rachel John, Aaron Lee Lambert, Ellie Leah, Amanda Minihan, Grant Murphy, Nathaniel Morrison, Ashley Russell and Carrie Sutton. To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 412 2704, or visit www.sisteractthemusical.com.

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