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Cast: John Owen-Jones joins Momentous Musicals, full Color Purple

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John Owen-Jones, West End's longest serving Phantom, will join the previously announced cast of Momentous Musicals as a special guest star for the show's dates at New Wimbledon Theatre (17 July), the Princess Theatre, Torquay (19 July), the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford (22 July), and the Palace Theatre, Manchester (25 July).

John Owen-Jones
Also joining the cast will be Ashleigh Gray (Wicked, I Dreamed A Dream, Taboo).

They join Gareth Gates (Les Misérables, Legally Blonde, Boogie Nights) and Rachael Wooding (We Will Rock You, Hairspray, Jersey Boys), who return to Momentous Musicals to headline the show for the second year running.

The headline cast will be supported an ensemble including Bronté Barbé, a finalist in the BBC's Over the Rainbow, Richard Lowe who originated the role of Lucas Lloyd in Loserville at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and in its subsequent West End transfer at the Garrick, and newcomer Maggie Lynne.

According to press, "Featuring one or two of the best songs from last year's show, alongside a wealth of new material, this year's production will feature brand new arrangements of classic and recent musical theatre songs including 'Let Me Be Your Star' from US TV series Smash, 'What I Did For Love' (A Chorus Line) and 'One Day More' (Les Misérables) as well as several surprises."

Full casting has been announced for the forthcoming European premiere of The Color Purple, which runs from 5 July to 14 September at the Menier Chocolate Factory.

Joining Cynthia Erivo (Celie), Nicola Hughes (Shug), Adebayo Bolaji (Harpo) and Abiona Omonua (Nettie) are Lakesha Cammock (Squeak), Christopher Colquhoun (Mister), Sophia Nomvete (Sofia), Neil Reidman (Pa) and Keisha T Fraser (Churchwoman).

Alice Walker
© Ana Elena
The ensemble are Marc Akinfolarin, Ashley Campbell, Leon Lopez and Gabriel Mokake.

The 1930s-set family chronicle, adapted from Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, centres on black teenager Celie as she journeys from childhood through joy and despair, anguish and hope to discover the power of love and life in racially divided southern America.

With a score of jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, The Color Purple is adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize and Tony award winner Marsha Norman, with music and lyrics by Grammy award winners Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray.

The Color Purple musical premiered in 2004, receiving its Broadway premiere in 2005 and going on to be nominated for ten Tony Awards. It ran until 2008 and has since been revived for several national US tours.