Review of 'Whoopi Goldberg: Stand Up Live'

I have always been a fan of Whoopi Goldberg with her no-nonsense attitude and fun sense of humour so when we heard that she was coming for a one-off stand-up show at the Palladium we could not resist…Originally there was just the one show she was going to do at 7:30 but then they added a later show at 10:30 - It was this later show that we attended along with the requisite “curfew” at midnight meaning she had a time limit.

We had great seats in the royal circle (first balcony), in row G right in the middle. The stage was dress in black with simply her name in giant letters at the back, a large screen above the stage and a bar stool that she ended up never using (though her manager did later in the show) - Stripped back to basics, this was just Whoopi.

The sold-out audience was full of anticipation for the night's show and Whoopi did not disappoint. She began the evening dismissing the hottest topics right now, namely, Brexit and Donald Trump's presidency telling us that there is not much really to say about it. Later when asked about becoming president she discussed this as well saying that she is not really all that interested and not terribly political. She launched into what was to be the general theme of the evening and that is her older age (she is now 61). Her descriptions of her various physical ailments were hilarious much of which is far too rude to repeat here.

She told of how she came to be doing this one-off show with recollection of when she was in London previously performing in Sister Act also at the Palladium. She had to withdraw from the cast when her mother passed away so during her performance tonight she told us she had to come back to the Palladium as that is what her mother would have wanted. This is trademark Whoopi - emotional and full of heart.

An interesting part of the evening was that her grandson was in the audience who had never seen her perform before so Whoopi was keen to single him out and even ended the evening with an anecdote of when the grandson was younger and, after some coaching from Whoopi, responding with colourful language to a waiter in a restaurant. Needless to say the grandson spent a lot of time hiding his face from the laughing audience tonight.

Whoopi certainly has a way with people and had the crowd generally in the palm of her hand for the just under 1 hour 30 minute show (remember the curfew I mentioned earlier?). She makes no apologies for her failings or, indeed, her opinions and made this perfectly clear.

The last 30 minutes of show was devoted to answering some questions posted via social media presented by her manager on the stage. There was to be questions from the audience but this did not happen due to lack of time. At the end of the show as she left the stage she briefly returned to ask if the crowd would be interested in hearing something “really interesting”, to which, of course, we whole-heartedly agreed. She brought out a set of twins performing acapella for a few minutes which really captivated not only Whoopi in their emotion and talent but also the, by now, exhausted audience.

We really enjoyed Whoopi's performance. She still has it even though her voice may be getting rougher with the passing years…


Review Date: 2017-02-11

London Palladium

Location: London (England)

Address: Argyll Street, London England, W1F 7TF

Public Transport: TUBE Oxford Circus

Telephone: +44 (0) 844 412 4655


The grand old daddy of London theatres, the Palladium has a long and illustrious history of Vaudeville, pantomime, the Royal Variety Performance show (held yearly as a “command performance” for the royal family), “Sunday Night at the London Palladium” live television show as well as big modern musicals including the Sound of Music, Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Access to the theatre is simple as it is immediately adjacent to Oxford Circus and on a quiet side street that is (normally) vehicle free. The interior of the theatre is magnificent in a classical way having been recently restored.