Producers Whoopi Goldberg and Stage Entertainment have confirmed full details and casting for the first ever UK & Ireland tour of the hit musical comedy Sister Act, which opens at the Manchester Opera House 4 October (previews from 29 September).

The show, which played to over a million people at the London Palladium during its West End run and is currently a huge hit on Broadway, will star Coronation Street’s Denise Black as Mother Superior, and Brookside and The Royal favourite Michael Starke as Monsignor O’Hara, with rising new star Cynthia Erivo as nun on the run Deloris Van Cartier.

Denise Black is probably best known as siren hairdresser Denise Osbourne in Coronation Street. Other television credits include Denny’s mad, bad mum in Bad Girls, Hazel, the mum all gay men wanted in Queer as Folk, as well as Robin Hood, Doc Martin, Small Island, Sensitive Skin, and Dalziel and Pascoe. On stage she recently toured the country in Grumpy Old Women Live! and won the Manchester Evening News Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Roots at the Royal Exchange. Denise is also the lead singer of the folk-rock band The Loose Screw who gig extensively around the UK and recently sold out a week-long engagement at Pizza on the Park.

Liverpool born actor Michael Starke is best known for his role as Thomas "Sinbad" Sweeney in popular soap Brookside, which he played for 16 years. He was also a series regular playing Kenneth Hopkirk in Sunday night ITV1 drama The Royal. In 2007 he joined the cast of ITV1’s Coronation Street as kebab shop owner Jerry Morton. Previous stage credits include The Play What I Wrote, Anything Goes, The Rocky Horror Show, Hamlet, numerous pantomime appearances, and most recently the UK tour of Hairspray as Edna Turnblad.

Recently seen in the West End playing Madeleine in Emma Rice's Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Cynthia Erivo made her stage debut in Marine Parade at Brighton Festival and has also appeared in in I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw the Sky at Theatre Royal, Stratford East and The Three Musketeers and the Princess of Spain on tour. As a solo artist she supported American Idol winner Fantasia Burrino at the Indigo O2.

Speaking about today's casting announcement Whoopi Goldberg - who co-produces the show with Stage Entertainment, and also shortly appeared in the show's London production - said in a statement: "We were thrilled to open Sister Act in London but I’m even more excited to have the show tour the UK so even more folks experience those singing nuns."

The cast also includes Julie Atherton as Sister Mary Robert, Edward Baruwa as Eddie Souther, Cavin Cornwall as Curtis Jackson, Gavin Alex as Pablo, Jacqueline Clarke as Sister Mary Lazarus, Tyrone Huntley as TJ and Laurie Scarth as Sister Mary Patrick.