As the fabulous Sister Act, produced by Whoopi Goldberg, enjoys its last two weeks of its current UK tour here at Birmingham Hippodrome, we took the opportunity to ask the Bishop of Birmingham, David Urquhart, a member of our Board, to tell us about his theatrical experiences…
I have now been on the Board of Birmingham Hippodrome for about 3 years; I was attracted to being a member as I was already a regular visitor for ballet, musicals and opera at a very popular venue for tens of thousands of people across the West Midlands.
Birmingham Hippodrome is certainly a well run business, led by Stuart Griffiths and his highly committed staff, with a passion for spreading culture and entertainment. Our Chairman, John Crabtree suggested I join others drawn from business, the arts, politics, media and commerce…an opportunity I simply could not refuse.
Converted to Christ aged 18, in Idi Amin’s Uganda, I saw the transforming power of a relationship with Jesus in the lives of those Ugandans with whom I was working. After 10 years in the oil industry I was called to ordination as a minister in the Church of England, starting in Hull and coming eventually to Birmingham as Bishop, via Coventry and Birkenhead.
My favourite show at the Hippodrome has to be ‘We Will Rock You’ which starred, among others, X Factor finalist Brenda Edwards who I was lucky enough to meet after one of the performances! I also enjoyed this year’s BRB performance of Far From the Madding Crowd which was especially highly appreciated by my guests from California. I am also really looking forward to seeing Sister Act for the first time on stage…
Out of a long list, my favourite hymn is ‘For all the Saints, who from their labours rest’ to the tune by Vaughan Williams, with plenty of hopeful Alleluias! From the shows I would choose Bohemian Rhapsody – ‘Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy?’ an excellent question for all of us as we find a firm foundation for all that we are and do.
You can find out more about the Bishop of Birmingham HERE.
Sister Act runs at Birmingham Hippodrome until 20 Oct 2012 – CLICK HERE for more info and to book tickets.