Caryn Elaine Johnson, better known as Whoopi Goldberg, made her West End debut at the London Palladium, playing the Mother Superior in the musical version of Sister Act for a limited run during August 2010. Now, the London Palladium is not stalker friendly. It has two stage doors – light years apart… well, far enough to create a massive inconvenience that not even Usain Bolt could cover in the required time. Then, of course there is the front door. Add to that – Whoopi had no arrival or departure pattern and her car… or cars… didn’t always drive in from the direction of her digs.
All intelligence, and I use the term reservedly, suggested that the back stage door (as opposed to the main Great Marlborough Street one) was the one to target with a window of two hours going in.
Whoopi used a variety of cars, but there’s only one Whoopi Goldberg, so forget the vehicle, stay focussed on the passenger. Crowds gathered at all doors, some waiting all day. I got to know a few of them after five attempts.
I had virtually given up and resigned to leaving the sketch at the theatre for a through-the-mail reply. I was walking from Mayfair, through Soho to Charing Cross Station, not intending to stop by the theatre… but for some reason (addiction) found myself back there. Five minutes later Whoopi arrived at the back door, loved the sketch, happily signed and strolled into the Palladium to don the habit!
And, as a bonus, I also got the drawing below back through-the-mail.