Med­lyn scores su­pe­rior role

North Shore Times - - FRONT PAGE - LAINE MOGER

‘‘Some­times you read a role and, in a way, your soul goes, 'This is you.'’’

Opera singer He­len Med­lyn had never the seen the Whoopi Gold­berg movie Sis­ter Act, un­til she be­gan think­ing about tak­ing a role in its stage coun­ter­part. So, when asked to au­di­tion, Med­lyn fig­ured she’d bet­ter have a ‘‘quick’’ watch of the movie, and just loved it.

Sis­ter Act: The Mu­si­cal , is com­ing to Auck­land with North­cote’s Med­lyn as Mother Su­pe­rior. Med­lyn de­scribes her role as a ‘‘scorcher’’.

As Mother Su­pe­rior, Med­lyn plays the role of 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 said the chem­istry be­tween her and the main char­ac­ter, Keshia Tunks was im­por­tant. ‘‘We have to be at odds, me and her. So to have a col­league that you bond with, ad­mire and also some­one you re­ally like - only then can you do the clashes so won­der­fully.’’

Med­lyn said she fell in love with the script from the get go. ‘‘Some­times you read a role and, in a way, your soul goes, ‘This is you’,’’ she said. Then, when I got the part, I was like: ‘‘Oh He­len, how lucky are you!’’

Med­lyn calls Sis­ter Act, ‘‘full-cir­cle’’ re­turn to her her mu­si­cal-theatre roots, af­ter years of 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. She is also a judge at the New Zealand Aria com­pe­ti­tion, among other things. She also spends a lot of her time rid­ing her Har­ley David­son.

Med­lyn found her love for per­form­ing when she was just 8 years old, play­ing a pi­rate in The Pi­rates Of Pen­zance. She said 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. They had a choice, they could have stayed home...I still find that a knock-out. I had that feel­ing when I was 8, and I still have that.’’

❚ Sis­ter Act is on from Novem­ber 25 to De­cem­ber 16 at Auck­land’s ASB Water­front Theatre. Go in the draw to win a dou­ble pass to the Novem­ber 29 show by email­ing with Sis­ter Act in the sub­ject line, your con­tact de­tails, sub­urb and rea­son why you would like to go by Novem­ber 20.


He­len Med­lyn plays Mother Su­pe­rior in the stageshow Sis­ter Act: The Mu­si­cal. He­len Med­lyn

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