Preston will host a world first when Sister Act is performed at an Ashton church this week.Advertisement
The production, which is being put on by Preston’s College, will take place at St Michael and All Angels Church on Egerton Road.
Michael Cosgrove, musical theatre lecturer and show director, said: “Sister Act has never been performed on location in this way, so it’s exciting to bring that experience to Preston. As far as I’m aware it’s also a city first production of the show.”
The venue is a departure from the norm for Preston’s College, which in previous years has used Preston Guild Hall for its performances. This year however the College was unable to use the city centre venue due to money being owed by the Guild Hall.
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Michael said: “We needed to find somewhere that could house a cast of 35, and there aren’t a lot of venues to choose from in Preston.
“I’d heard about a production of Little Shop of Horrors being done in a New York flower shop and thought it would be great to go site specific with Sister Act, and really engross the audience.
“As well as the audience getting to see something different and exciting, it’s making theatre more accessible because the venue is easy to get to and there’s lots of free parking.
“We want the audience to feel like they’re coming to a church service, so they’ll be given ‘orders of service’ and there will be a tombola raising funds to go into the church’s restoration fund.”
However Michael admits he was worried about breaking the news of the venue change to the students.
He said: “I was a bit nervous as we’ve got such a good reputation for big shows. I told the students we were going to the church for research, then when we got there I announced it would be the venue.
“They were all really excited and have embraced the idea. They say the most exciting thing is trying something different that’s not really done in musical theatre.
“Our technicians have also enjoyed the process of creating wings and bringing in the lighting rig and sound equipment. On the plus side, we don’t need a lot of scenery!”
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The students performing in the show are mainly aged 16 to 19 years old, but there are some older students from the Special Educational Needs department, plus some gifted and talented high school students taking part.
The show will run nightly at 7.30pm from Thursday 13 June to Saturday 15 June. Tickets are £10 or £9 for concessions, and £8 for group bookings of ten or more. A family ticket costs £32. To book, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will you be going to see Sister Act? What do you think of the show being put on at a church? Let us know in the comments below.