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Cast revealed for The Color Purple in Leicester and Birmingham

Published: 16 March 2019

Seyi Omooba will lead the cast of The Color Purple, a co-production by Leicester’s Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome of Oprah Winfrey’s Broadway musical.

Omooba will play the heroine Celie. She appeared in the musical Spring Awakening at the Hope Mill Theatre in 2018 and took the role of Nettie in the Cadogan Hall, London production of The Color Purple in 2017.

Joanna Francis plays jazz singer and preacher’s daughter Shug Avery. She returns to Curve where she alternated the role of Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act in 2016.

Ako Mitchell joins The Color Purple as Celie’s abusive husband Mister. He played Dryer in the Chicester Festival Theatre and Hampstead Theatre production of Caroline or Change by Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tersori in 2018.

The cast also includes Simon-Anthony Rhoden (Mister’s son Harpo), Karen Mavundukure (Sofia), Danielle Fiamanya (Celie’s sister Nettie), Delroy Brown (Pa), Geoff Aymer, Owen Chaponda, Perola Congo, K M Drew Boateng, Danielle Kassaraté, Anelisa Lamola, Rosemary Annabella Nkrumah, Jochebel Ohene MacCarthy, Landi Oshinowo and Jo Servi.

The Color Purple will be directed by Tinuke Craig, winner of the 2014 Genesis Future Directors Award.

Curve chief executive Chris Stafford and artistic director Nikolai Foster said, “Curve’s casting director Kay Magson and director Tinuke Craig have assembled an exceptional group of actors to create this co-production. We know they’ll create something true, mind-blowing and beautiful.

“Seyi Omooba is an actress of immense power and she leads a formidable ensemble of astonishing talent; they are set to blow the roof off Leicester.”

Fiona Allan, artistic director and chief executive of Birmingham Hippodrome, added, “we hope this is the start of many more collaborations with our friends at Curve.

“I know our audiences here in the West Midlands will find the powerful story and characters both socially and culturally relevant. I can’t think of a better way to mark the Hippodrome’s 120th birthday than with our first main stage co-production.”

The Color Purple will run at Curve from Friday 28 June until Saturday 13 July. Press night will be Wednesday 3 July. It then transfers to Birmingham Hippodrome from Tuesday 16 until Saturday 20 July.

Steve Orme