It’s been announced that T’Shan Williams will play the leading role of Celie in the upcoming regional premiere of THE COLOR PURPLE, opening at Curve Leicester in June and Birmingham Hippodrome in July.
The casting update follows controversy earlier this year when Seyi Omooba was initially cast as Celie in the production. Producers were forced to recast the role when controversial comments made by Omooba came to light (WhatsOnStage).
T’Shan Williams previous stage credits include Heather Duke in HEATHERS at The Other Palace and in the West End, Radio 1 in CAROLINE, OR CHANGE at Hampstead Theatre, and Queen in THE LIFE at Southwark Playhouse (for which Williams received an Offies Award for Best Female in a Musical).
Williams joins the previously announced cast including Joanna Francis as Shug Avery, Ako Mitchell as Mister, Simon-Anthony Rhoden as Harpo, Karen Mavundukure as Sophia, Danielle Fiamanya as Nettie and Delroy Brown as Pa. The ensemble cast features Geoff Aymer, Owen Chaponda, Perola Congo, KM Drew Boateng, Danielle Kassaraté, Anelisa Lamola, Rosemary Annabella Nkrumah, Jochebel Ohene MacCarthy, Landi Oshinowo and Jo Servi.
THE COLOR PURPLE is based on the 1982 novel by Alice Walker and follows Celie, an African-American woman in America’s Deep South from the early to mid-20th century. The original production opened in Atlanta in 2004 before transferring to Broadway the following year. The original production ran for over two years in New York, earning eleven Tony Award-nomination including Best Musical. The musical made its UK premiere in an acclaimed production by John Doyle at the Menier Chocolate Factory in 2013. The production, along with original British star Cynthia Erivo, transferred to Broadway in 2015 earning the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival and Best Actress in a Musical for Erivo. The production playing in Leicester and Birmingham marks the UK regional premiere of the piece.
THE COLOR PURPLE is directed by Tinuke Craig, with set and costume design by Alex Lowde, musical supervision by Alex Parker, orchestrations by Martin Higgins, choreography by Mark Smith, lighting design by Joshua Pharo, sound design by Tom Marshall, hair and make-up design by Cynthia De La Rosa and casting by Kay Magson.
THE COLOR PURPLE runs at Leicester Curve from 28th June to 13th July, before transferring to Birmingham Hippodrome from 16th to 20th July. Tickets are on sale now.