Whoopi Goldberg, who is currently playing the role of Mother Superior in Sister Act, has had to withdraw from the rest of her run due to family illness.
A statement from the producers of the show, Stage Entertainment, said: “After receiving the news that her mother has suffered from a severe stroke, Whoopi Goldberg has had to fly home today, Friday 27 August, to be with her family. The role of Mother Superior will be played by Ms Goldberg’s understudy until Thursday 2 September, when Sally Dexter will assume the role.
“Ms Goldberg is very sorry not to be able to perform as planned and the thoughts and sincere best wishes of the producers and the entire Sister Act company are with her at this difficult time.”
Goldberg, who co-produces the stage show, played the lead role of Deloris Van Cartier in the hit 1992 film upon which it is based. Though initially saying she would remain firmly behind the scenes for this stage musical version, the film, television and Broadway actress finally decided to make her West End debut by taking over the role of Mother Superior from original star Sheila Hancock for a limited season from 10 to 31 August.
Sister Act, which tells the tale of an extrovert club singer hidden in a convent under the witness protection programme, will end its run at the London Palladium on 30 October after 18 months in the West End. Sally Dexter will play the role of Mother Superior alongside Patina Miller as Deloris.
Ticket-holders who no longer wish to see the performance due to Goldberg’s withdrawal are advised to contact their point of sale.