He­len’s su­pe­rior Sis­ter Act role


Opera singer He­len Med­lyn had never the seen the Whoopi Gold­berg movie Sis­ter Act un­til she be­gan think­ing about tak­ing a part in its stage coun­ter­part.

When asked to au­di­tion, Med­lyn fig­ured she’d bet­ter have a ‘‘quick’’ watch of the film, and just loved it.

Sis­ter Act: The Mu­si­cal, is com­ing to Auck­land with Med­lyn as Mother Su­pe­rior. She de­scribes her role as a ‘‘scorcher’’, adding it’s full of joy, de­li­cious lines and ‘‘wicked ir­rev­er­ence’’.

As Mother Su­pe­rior, Med­lyn plays the bat­tle-axe, stuck with the job of pro­vid­ing safe haven in her con­vent to wannabe diva Deloris Van Cartier, af­ter the singer wit­nesses a crime.

Med­lyn says the chem­istry be­tween her and the main char­ac­ter, Keshia Tunks who plays Deloris, is im­por­tant.

‘‘We have to be at odds, me and her. To have a col­league you bond with, ad­mire and also some­one you really like - only then can you do the clashes so won­der­fully.’’

Med­lyn says she fell in love with the script from the get go.

‘‘Some­times you read a role and your soul goes this is you. When I got the part, I was like ‘oh He­len, how lucky are you’.’’

Med­lyn calls Sis­ter Act ‘‘full-cir­cle’’ re­turn to mu­si­cal-the­atre roots, her her af­ter hav­ing en­joyed a lengthy and suc­cess­ful opera ca­reer un­der the wing of singing teacher Jan­ice Webb. In be­tween her own shows, Med­lyn teaches per­for­mance around the coun­try, most re­cently at Vic­to­ria Univer­sity, Welling­ton. She’s also a judge at the New Zealand Aria com­pe­ti­tion, among many ac­tiv­i­ties.

Med­lyn found her love for per­form­ing when she was just eight years old, play­ing a pi­rate in The Pi­rates Of Pen­zance.

She says the ex­hil­a­ra­tion she felt bow­ing to the au­di­ence from on stage that first night still hits her now all these years later.

‘‘You’re thank­ing peo­ple for com­ing. Thank you for be­ing here. They had a choice, they could have stayed home.

‘‘When I come out and bow, it’s the most ex­tra­or­di­nary thing. I still find that a knock­out. I had that feel­ing when I was eight, and I still have that.’’


The Eastern Courier has

to see Sis­ter Act at Auck­land’s ASB Water­front The­atre. To en­ter, send an email to ec@snl.co.nz with Sis­ter Act in the sub­ject line, with your con­tact de­tails, ad­dress and phone num­ber by 5pm on Novem­ber 19.

dou­ble pass to win a ticket


Lead­ing singer He­len Med­lyn says play­ing Mother Su­pe­rior is a ‘‘scorcher’’ of a part.

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