Liam Rudden: Whoopi - Sister Act is on her way

Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act 2.Pic: Comp
Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act 2.Pic: Comp
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BRIMMING with enthusiasm and energy, the Capital’s amateurs come into their own over the next few weeks, never more so than at The King’s where, what used to be known as the Local Heroes Season, gets underway with The Bohemians Lyric Opera Company’s production of Sister Act (18-21 February).

The story of lounge singer Deloris Van Cartier, Sister Act is based on the hit movie starring Whoopi Goldberg, one of the most popular comedies of the 1990s.

Following Sister Act, the curtain rises on another favourite next month, when Southern Light Opera bring Lionel Bart’s Oliver! to life (3-7 March).

Always a popular choice, the tale of the orphaned boy conned into a life of crime by the sinister Fagin, is perhaps one of the greatest musicals of all time, with the 1968 film adaptation winning no fewer than six Oscars.

Later in March, The Edinburgh Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s take on The Pirates of Penzance (24-28 March) is another popular title sure to pull in audiences.

Arguably the best known work in the G&S repertoire it tells the tale of pirate apprentice Frederic, who, having completed his apprenticeship falls in love with Mabel, the daughter of Major-General Stanley.

It’s perhaps one of the most commercial amateur seasons at The King’s for some while, a good thing when there are so many entertainment outlets and opportunities vying for our hard-earned cash.

Of course, well known titles always fare well when money is tight. You know what to expect when you go to see a production of Oliver!, Sister Act or The Pirates of Penzance. They are safe, unlike more obscure musicals like Brigadoon, which may well be exciting for those on stage but isn’t necessarily going fill houses.

So, hats off the city’s unpaid performers. Their dedication helps keep theatres alive. Without them, chances are there would be a few more dark weeks in the programming of The Old Lady of Leven Street.