Black is best known for her role as Denise Osbourne in ITV soap Coronation Street. Her other television appearances have included Bad Girls, Queer as Folk, Robin Hood, Doc Martin, Small Island, Sensitive Skin, Dalziel and Pascoe, New Tricks, No Angels, Midsomer Murders, A Touch of Frost, The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Vice.
With an extensive stage career, her most recent theatre roles have included touring Grumpy Old Women Live! and Roots at Manchester's Royal Exchange. Lead singer of the folk-rock band The Loose Screw, she also enjoyed a week-long engagement at Pizza on the Park.
Michael Starke appeared in Channel 4's Brookside playing Thomas "Sinbad" Sweeney for 16 years. He was also a series regular in ITV drama The Royal and in 2007 joined the cast of Coronation Street. Previous stage credits include The Play What I Wrote, Anything Goes, The Rocky Horror Show, Hamlet, 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 production will launch its UK tour from Manchester on 4 October (previews from 29 September)continuing to Oxford, Edinburgh, Sunderland, Bradford, Dublin, Bristol, Eastbourne, Wolverhampton, Southampton, High Wycombe, Nottingham, Leeds, Aberdeen, Liverpool and Plymouth. The tour is currently booking dates through to 14 July 2012.
Sister Act opened at the Palladium on 2 June 2009 (previews from 7 May) fronted by Whatsonstage.com Award winner Patina Miller as Deloris van Cartier, the lounge singer put in protective custody in a convent after witnessing a murder – the part played in the original 1992 film by Goldberg.
The screen-to-stage adaptation, which has a score by Alan Menken and a book by Cheri and Bill Steinkellner, closed on 30 October 2010 to make way for Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Wizard of Oz. The musical has subsequently transferred to Broadway, with Miller continuing in the role of Deloris.
In other musical casting news, the Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park have announced casting for their upcoming production of George and Ira Gershwin’s hit musical comedy Crazy for You, the final show in Timothy Sheader's 2011 season.
David Burt plays Bela Zangler. His stage credits include numerous productions at the National Theatre, RSC as well as an Olivier nominated performances in The Beggar’s Opera La Traviata. His further West End credits in Merchant of Venice, Troilus and Cressida, Evita, Cats, Les Miserables, Chess, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Woman in White.
Bobby Child and Polly Baker will be played by Palmer and Foster. Palmer has worked on both stage and screen, and was in the original casts of Saturday Night Fever and Fosse, most recently playing Prince Eric in the stage production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid on Broadway. His television credits include the HBO series Sex and the City. Clare Foster has been seen on stage in Avenue Q, Chicago and We Will Rock You as well as playing PC Millie Brown in for ITV's The Bill.
Best-known for her role in Eastenders, Kim Medcalf plays Irene Roth, whilst acclaimed stage and screen actress Harriet Thorpe takes the roles of the Mother and Patricia. Thorpe has recently appeared in the West End productions of Mamma Mia and Wicked as well as on screen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Michael McKell, who recently played corrupt detective DS Nick Henshall in Emmerdale, takes the role of Lank.
Further casting includes: Rachel Stanley (Tess), Alexis Owen Hobbs (Patsy), Samuel Holmes (Eugene), Peter Martin (Everett), Lucy Anderson, Jessica Buckby, Cara Elston, Charlene Ford, Jo Goodwin, Amy Griffiths (Follies Girls), Harry Morrison, James O'Connell, Carl Sanderson, Phil Snowden, Stephen Whitson (Cowboys), Richard Jones, Josh Lacey and Jo Morris.
The creative team behind the Open Air's award-winning production of Hello, Dolly! reunite for the show, with Stephen Mear choreographing and design by Peter McKintosh. Gareth Valentine is musical director, returning after last season's production of Sondheim’s Into the Woods.
With book by Ken Ludwig, Crazy for You includes a number of 1930s Gershwin standards such as “I Got Rhythm”, “Someone To Watch Over Me”, “Embraceable You” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It”. The 1992 Broadway production transferred to the West End a year later, picking up both the Tony and Olivier Awards for Best New Musical.