Singing nuns on the run in Derry - has anyone see Mrs McCaffrey?
She can sing, she can dance, and she's got attitude - meet Emer McCaffrey.
By day Mrs McCaffrey is a teacher at Lumen Christi College, but at night instead of letting her hair down, Emer likes to tuck her hair into a wimple and wear a nun’s habit. But only when she’s with her fellow actors from the Londonderry Musical Society.
Emer takes centre stage on Wednesday night playing the role made famous by Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act - lounge singer Deloris Van Cartier
Deloris’s life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder. Under protective custody she is hidden in the one place she won’t be found – a convent!
But that’s only where the fun begins, this quiet order of nuns doesn’t know what hit it.
“It’s a massive role,” admits the Strabane woman. “I can just imagine myself in the wings next Wednesday night ready to go on and the adrenalin flowing. I can’t wait.”
The mother of three has been a member of the LMS since she returned from living in the US in 2006.
“I was at a loss as to what I should do socially,” she said. “So I joined LMS having no previous speech or drama experience. I was never really a singer or someone who was picked to sing in school.
“I thought I’d just take a back seat in the chorus.”
But things started to move pretty quickly, and it wasn’t long before Emer found herself armed and ready as the feisty Calamity Jane.
Emer’s now swapped her cowboy hat and boots for rosary beads and a bible as the cast prepare for their four night run at the Millennium Forum next week.
“Deloris is like no other role I’ve ever played,” said Emer. “You’re never off stage. Playing Deloris you have to be a bit like Beyonce, which is a first for me, and of course Deloris has a lot of attitude.
“I just need to remember to be funny, dramatic, sing well, dance - and of course remember to breathe.
“The story is very close to the film. I spend most of time in the habit or in lounge room clothes.”
But it’s her fellow cast that Emer says that will keep everything going that night, particularly her fellow nuns, who she says are some of the finest actors and singers she’s worked with.
“We all have busy lives and juggle a lot of balls to make a show like this happen,” she said.
““We have a fantastic committee who keep everything going behind the scenes.
“’m blessed with a wonderful husband Niall who has been right behind me with this show. He’s right there with the kids as I go in every weekend for rehearsals.
“My sisters have block booked tickets so they’ll be there for me, and two of my friends are flying the whole way from the USA to see me on stage. “
The show co stars Vincent Lynch, Enya Loughlin, Judith O’Hara, Joanne Palmer and we have it on good authority that the Pope will be making his first appearance in Derry.
The musical runs at the Millennium Forum from Wednesday, March 9 2016 to Saturday, March 12. Book tickets at the Millennium Forum on 71264455 or www.millenniumforum.co.uk Special family tickets available.