coronation street

CORONATION Street star Georgia May Foote is heading to Surrey direct from Broadway, and prior to a London run, to star in the coming-of-age drama Napoli, Brooklyn.

Set in 1960 Brooklyn, New York, it tells the story of Nic and Luda Muscolino, who have raised three proud and passionate daughters, each of them bonded by a fierce love for one another and harbouring a secret longing that could tear the family apart.


SISTER ACT – The Muscolino girls are tested by a New York tragedy in Napoli, Brooklyn

When an earth-shattering event rocks their neighbourhood, life comes to a screeching halt and the Muscolino sisters are forced to confront their conflicting visions for the future.

Foote is best known for playing Katy Armstrong in Corrie, but fans will also remember her as Alison Simmons in Grange Hill and later as runner-up in Strictly Come Dancing.

Napoli, Brooklyn, comes to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, from Monday 13 May until Saturday 18 May.

Playwright Meghan Kennedy said: Napoli, Brooklyn is loosely based on my mother’s adolescence. She grew up in a big, Italian Catholic immigrant family. It’s a story of immigrants finding their identities and coming to a new understanding of what home truly means.

“It’s women taking risks that will come to define a generation. But the issues each member of that family faced still exist now.”

TRAGIC Coronation Street star Sophiya Haque spent “a few precious nights” on the houseboat she had designed with her partner in West Byfleet before dying suddenly of cancer last week at the age of 41.

David White said Sophiya, who played barmaid Poppy Morales in the ITV1 soap, had been “extremely fit and healthy” during the 12 months the couple had spent building their dream home.

The 51-year-old West End musical director had been living with Sophiya in Knaphill when she began complaining of tremendous backache and abdominal pain last month.

Mr White, who had been with the actress for six years, said Sophiya took painkillers and kept performing until December 22 before seeing her GP on January 2.

She was admitted to hospital the same day. He said: “She had that ‘show must go on’ mentality. We hit this awful situation around Christmas and new year when everything was closed, so we didn’t get a doctor’s appointment until January 2, and we were told to go straight to hospital.”

He added: “We managed to spend a few precious nights on the boat together before she went to hospital. She was having huge trouble breathing while she was in hospital.

“Apparently a blood clot could have been thrown up into her lung. Her heart was beating very fast to try and get oxygen into her system.

“It became harder for her to breathe and she blacked out. A few minutes later her heart stopped. It was not something I expected that day.

“It was a terrible shock.” Sophiya died in hospital last Thursday (January 17) just a few weeks after our Entertainments Editor Barry Rutter interviewed her about her West End role in the Peter Nichols farce Privates on Parade.

The actress, born down in Portsmouth, Hampshire, had urged Woking’s theatre-goers to take advantage of a ticket promotion to see the Michael Grandage production at the Noel Coward theatre in London.

At the time of going to press, Mr White was still waiting to find out what type of cancer Sophiya had suffered, which doctors believe might have been growing for months. He said: “They think it may be ovarian because there are often very few symptoms.

The second set of results came back inconclusive the day after she died.

“I still want to know what the cancer was, although I am coming to terms with the fact that nothing is going to bring her back.”

Sophiya’s stint on Coronation Street ran from 2008 to 2009.

She also starred alongside Angelina Jolie in the hit film Wanted, while her West End appearances included Bombay Dreams, The Far Pavilions and Wah! Wah! Girls.

Mr White added: “She was the most amazing person to live with. It was a life full of laughter and joy.”

SOUL SISTER - Denise Black leads a star-studded cast in Sister Act

SOUL SISTER – Denise Black leads a star-studded cast in Sister Act

THERE will be a distinctly soapy feel to Sister Act when it arrives in Woking this month.

Corrie star Denise Black is currently taking centre stage and she’ll be joined by Michael Starke, who played the scally Sinbad in Brookside and has since featured as Kenneth Hopkirk in the Sunday evening TV favourite The Royal.

Denise, who is probably best known as siren hairdresser Denise Osbourne in the Street, is currently taking on the role of Mother Superior in a two-week run of the divine musical Sister Act, while Michael plays Monsignor Howard.

This smash hit musical first opened at the London Palladium in 2009 where it went on to be seen by more than a million people, running for 18 months and achieving huge acclaim.

Sister Act The Musical has been nominated for four Olivier Awards and has won countless others including Broadway.com’s Best Musical.

Whoopi Goldberg, star of the original hit film and producer of the show, says: “We were thrilled to open Sister Act in London but I’m even more excited to have the show tour in the UK so even more folks get to experience those singing nuns.

“It’s a great show for everyone – your kids, your granny, even the neighbour next door who you might not like so much! I promise, you’ll have a great night at the theatre. Look out Great Britain – the sisters are coming!”

The musical tells the unlikely tale of disco diva Deloris Van Cartier who witnesses a murder and is then put in protective custody in the one place the cops are sure she won’t be found – a convent!

Disguised as a nun, she quickly finds fans among her fellow ‘sisters’ but makes the wrong impression on the convent’s strict mother superior.

When she turns her attention to the convent’s off-key choir, helping the nuns to find their true voices and breathing new life into the rundown neighbourhood, her cover could be blown for good.

With the gang giving chase, is time running out for Deloris? Or have they underestimated the power of her new found sisterhood?

Alongside Denise and Michael, the current production of Sister Act The Musical features rising new star
Cynthia Erivo as nun-on-the-run Deloris.

Sister Act is at the New Victoria Theatre from Tuesday, August 28 until Saturday, September 8.