Inside the rehearsal room for The Color Purple
The show embarks on its first tour in England and Wales
Delve inside the rehearsal room for The Color Purple!
This new staging of Marsha Norman, Allee Willis, Brenda Russell and Stephen Bray's piece 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 is played by Ahmed Hamad (The Addams Family) and Squeak is portrayed by Jimand Allotey, who makes her professional stage debut in the production.
You can watch the cast performing in rehearsals here:
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, Alex Okoampa, Neil Patterson and Kellah-M Spring.
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). Tickets for tour stops are available below.
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, set and costume designer Alex Lowde, video designer Joshua Pharo, sound designer Tom Marshall, wigs, hair and make-up designer Cynthia De La Rosa and casting director Kay Magson.
Joining the creative team are Ian Oakley as musical director, Ricardo Pardo as associate designer, Gail Parmel and Iona Waite as associate choreographers, Kev McCurdy as fight director, Hazel Holder as voice coach, Gerrard Martin as intimacy director, Naomi Thompson as costume supervisor, Nicole Iroh as wigs, hair and make-up supervisor and Nigel Bailey as wellbeing practitioner.