TO MAKE THE SHOW less religious is one problem. To turn more than 40 amateur actors and actresses into professionals is another. And lots more problems have to be faced. But all these have not reduced the enthusiasm of the crew of the musical Spirit. A classic Salvation Army musical written in 1974 Spirit is about to enjoy its first Cantonese adaptation and first staging in Hong Kong. The musical is based on Acts of the Apostles in the Bible's New Testament. It tells the story of how the Holy Spirit trans-formed the followers of Christ, making them able to suffer, sacrifice and achieve. Despite its Christian theme, the general public is its target audience. So here lies the first problem - the show must be less religious. According to the director, Bruce Tam Chun-fai, new elements were added to modernise the show . 'We use more slang in the lyrics and dialogue. Among the orchestral music, modern drums and keyboard will also be used. These are very new to us and bring a greater impact to the show,' he said. Tam pointed out that the message was not only about God, but also can be applied to our daily lives. 'We want to remind people that, even if you're not a believer, you can overcome any difficulties as long as you've got confidence,' Daniel Hui Wah-lun, one of the actors, added. Since the whole crew are volunteers and most of them have never had any on-stage experience before, this is the second challenge for the director. 'There are 40 songs in the show. We have to memorise them. It's not like karaoke,' said Christy Lee Pui-yan, one of the actresses. 'We have to sing with facial expressions and body movements, which are the most difficult parts for us. Luckily, we have a professional choir leader to teach us.' After more than a year's training and rehearsals, the volunteers have become masters of the show. 'I always practise singing at home. Now even my 10-year-old son is familiar with the songs. He joked that he could replace me if I were not able to get on stage,' smiled Envoy Hui. Spirit will be on stage on August 8-9 at Jockey Club Auditorium, Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Tickets are available at HKTicketing box offices.