Complete casting for The Color Purple tour announced
The show opens next month
Casting has been revealed for the upcoming touring revival of the WhatsOnStage Award-winning production of The Color Purple.
This new staging of Marsha Norman, Allee Willis, Brenda Russell and Stephen Bray's musical, based on the seminal novel by Alice Walker, marks the first time the musical has toured England and Wales. It is produced by Curve Leicester, where the show first ran, and the Birmingham Hippodrome.
Appearing as central protagonist Celie is Me'sha Bryan, whose previous roles have included Romantics Anonymous (Bristol Old Vic) and Caroline, or Change (The Playhouse Theatre.
She is joined by Bree Smith (The Wiz) as Shug Avery, Aaliyah Zhané (The Comedy of Errors) as Celie's sister Nettie, while Harpo will be played by Ahmed Hamad (The Addams Family) and Squeak will be portrayed by Jimand Allotey, who makes her professional stage debut in the production.
The tour sees several cast members from Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome's original award-winning production return, including Ako Mitchell as Mister, Anelisa Lamola as Sofia, KM Drew Boateng as Pa, Rosemary Annabella Nkrumah as Darlene and Karen Mavundukure as Doris and Alternate Celie.
The cast also includes Kyle Birch, Kayla Carter, Joshua Clemetson, Esme Laudat, DeeArna McLean, Monifa James, Nathaniel Morrison, Alex Okoampa and Neil Patterson.
After opening in Birmingham on 13 September 2022, the production will visit Theatre Royal Plymouth (27 September to 1 October), Royal and Derngate Northampton (4 to 8 October), The Lowry in Salford (11 to 15 October), Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff (18 to 22 October), Mayflower Theatre Southampton (25 to 29 October), finishing its run at Norwich Theatre Royal (1 to 5 November).
The show is directed by Tinuke Craig once more, with Lakesha Arie-Angelo as revival director.
Returning to the show are musical supervisor Alex Parker, orchestrator Martin Higgins, choreographer Mark Smith, designer Alex Lowde and video designer Joshua Pharo, sound designer Tom Marshall and casting director Kay Magson.
Joining the creative team are Ian Oakley as musical director, Ricardo Pardo as associate designer and Gail Parmel and Iona Waite as associate choreographers.
Curve's chief executive Chris Stafford and artistic director Nikolai Foster said: "We are delighted to announce our exceptional The Color Purple company, assembled by the brilliant Tinuke Craig.
"The Color Purple is very close to our hearts, and we cannot wait to welcome back familiar faces and new colleagues to take this award-winning Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome production on tour. We know this extraordinary team will create something truly special for audiences across England and Wales this autumn."