Whoopi Goldberg will reprise her starring role as Deloris Van Cartier for the first time on stage with Jennifer Saunders as Mother Superior in a newly adapted production of the smash hit musical Sister Act at London’s Eventim Apollo from 29 July to 30 August 2020.
Goldberg is also a producer of the new production, as she was when the show first debuted in the West End in 2009. The beloved musical has since played a successful run on Broadway and in touring companies around the world. Goldberg briefly appeared as Mother Superior at the London Palladium in 2010.
Producer Jamie Wilson said today: ‘It has been so exciting to work with Whoopi, Alan Menken, Douglas Carter Beane and Glenn Slater to revise and refresh Sister Act for this newly adapted production. This is a very special one-off opportunity created just for London to see one of the most loved actors of our time playing the part she is so famous and so loved for. The addition of Jennifer means that Sister Act truly promises to be the ultimate night of laughs and smiles with two comedy greats. I’m also thrilled that Brenda Edwards, who has been so instrumental in Whoopi agreeing to return to the stage, has been able to schedule her TV commitments so she can play Deloris on Thursday matinees. It really is going to be a brilliant Summer!’
Whoopi Goldberg plays Deloris Van Cartier for the first time on stage having played the part in the hugely successful films Sister Act and Sister Act 2 – Back in the Habit. Whoopi is one of the few people to hold the distinction of winning the four major American awards – an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. As well as Sister Act, Whoopi’s other film credits include Ghost and The Color Purple. On TV she has hosted the Oscars four times and is a moderator and co-host on The View. On stage Whoopi has appeared in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Xanadu on Broadway, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and her own acclaimed one-woman show.
Jennifer Saunders is a multi award-winning actress, comedian and writer. She is one half of the successful comedy duo French and Saunders and also wrote and starred in five series, three specials and a feature film of her hit comedy Absolutely Fabulous. Her many other TV credits include writing and starring in Jam and Jerusalem and guest starring in Friends and Roseanne. Film credits include the voice of the evil Fairy Godmother in Shrek 2. On stage she has appeared in Lady Windermere’s Fan at the Vaudeville Theatre and Blithe Spirit at Bath Theatre Royal. This production transfers to the Duke of York’s Theatre next year. Sister Act the musical will mark Jennifer’s musical theatre debut.
Brenda Edwards first came to the public’s attention when she became a semi-finalist in the 2005 series of ITV1’s The X Factor. Since then, she has become one of the most sought-after leading ladies in musical theatre. Her many theatre credits include Killer Queen in We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre and on the original UK Tour, Mama Morton in Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre and the 10th Anniversary Gala, Nettie Fowler in Carousel at the London Coliseum, Pearl Pastor in Carmen Jones at the Royal Festival Hall, Esta in Moby Dick at the Union Theatre and most recently Motormouth Maybelle in the UK tour of Hairspray. Brenda is also a regular panellist on ITV’s Loose Women.
Sister Act has direction by Bill Buckhurst, choreography by Alistair David, Set Design by Morgan Large, Lighting Design by Tim Mitchell, Sound Design by Tom Marshall and Musical Supervision by Stephen Brooker. Casting is by Stuart Burt.
Sister Act features original music by Tony® and 8-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken (Disney’s Aladdin, Enchanted), lyrics by Glenn Slater, book by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner with additional book material by Douglas Carter Beane. SISTER ACT is produced by Jamie Wilson and Whoopi Goldberg. Tom Leonardis, Head of Whoopi’s production company, is also on the producing team. On Thursday matinee the roles of Deloris Van Cartier will be played by Brenda Edwards.
Based on the iconic movie, this sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, sisterhood and music tells the hilarious story of the disco diva whose 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! Disguised as a nun and under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own.
To book tickets visit sisteractthemusical.co.uk (On Thursday matinee the roles of Deloris Van Cartier will be played by Brenda Edwards.)
Photo credit: Matthew Murphy and Oliver Rosser