Leonie gets a heavenly calling

New Business owner Leonie Airlie in her shop The Powder Room and Spa in Alnwick Market Place which was formerly Silk and Sand
New Business owner Leonie Airlie in her shop The Powder Room and Spa in Alnwick Market Place which was formerly Silk and Sand

A local beautician and business owner has been cast as the lead role of Alnwick Stage Music Society’s (ASMS) next production.

Leonie Dial, who owns The Powder Room in The Market Place in Alnwick, has been cast as Deloris Van Cartier in the local group’s next production of Sister Act: The Musical.

The budding thespian fought-off tough competition for the role as more than 20 people auditioned for the main parts, one of the largest the group has seen.

Society chairman Sally Plumford said: “I think it’s really exciting, and I think the show is a new venture for our society.

“It’s a production unlike any other we’ve done before and I think it’s a very exciting moment and we’re going to all really enjoy it and just make the most of it.”

Leonie will follow in the footsteps of Whoopi Goldberg, who played the role in the hit 1992 film comedy.

Leonie only joined the society last year when she took the lead of Nancy in Oliver! The Musical.

“She came in to Oliver as a newbie and she made a fantastic job and I think she’ll be great because she has singing and dancing skills and she has professional experience. She’ll be fabulous,” Sally added.

Leonie, who is orignally from Kent, said: “When I was 17 years old I travelled abroad living my dream being a singer and dancer on the cruise ships.

“When I came home I missed the stage so much I had to continue my passion with an amateur group.

“My husband and I moved to Alnwick a year ago.

“On my second day in Alnwick I was standing in the Playhouse inquiring about amateur groups.

“After playing my dream role as Nancy in Oliver back in March with ASMS I made so many friends so I am now so excited to challenge myself doing the role of Deloris in such an amazing show with a fab cast.”

Joining Leonie in the lead spot will be another society newbie, American-born Mariana Santiago-Bennett, who has been in chorus roles before and will make her debut as Mother Superior, the role which was played by Maggie Smith in the film version.

Sally added: “It’s great to see someone who has been in the chorus up to now and to have someone different in a principle.

“I think the cast now need to enjoy themselves and just go for it.

“It will be hard work at times but it will be hugely rewarding and we hope we will present a wonderful show to Alnwick in March.”