Principal Casting Announced for The Color Purple at London's Menier Chocolate Factory

By Mark Shenton
April 30, 2013

The European premiere of The Color Purple, which begins performances at London's Menier Chocolate Factory July 5 prior to an official opening July 15 for a run through Sept. 14, has announced casting for four principal roles.



The company will feature Cynthia Erivo as Celie (recently seen in the UK tour of Sister Act: The Musical, LIFT at Soho Theatre and in The Umbellas of Cherbourg at the Gielgud), Nicola Hughes as Shug (Olivier-nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for Porgy and Bess at the Savoy Theatre, and whose other credits include Fosse), Adebayo Bolaji as Harpo (Ghost in the West End) and Abiona Omonua as Nettie (Legally Blonde in the West End and Hairspray on the UK tour).

The production is directed and designed by John Doyle, who previously directed the UK premiere of Sondheim's Road Show at the Menier Chocolate Factory (having also directed it at New York's Public Theater). He was recently represented Off-Broadway by Sondheim's Passion at New York's Classic Stage Company, and has also directed Sweeney Todd and Company on Broadway and Peter Grimes for the Metropolitan Opera. Other West End credits include Mack and Mabel and The Gondoliers.

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker, The Color Purple follows the inspirational Celie, as she journeys from childhood through joy and despair, anguish and hope to discover the power of love and life. Adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize and Tony  Award winner Marsha Norman, it has music and lyrics by Grammy Award winners Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray.

Further casting is to be announced. Musical supervision is by Catherine Jayes, with choreography by Ann Yee, costume design by Matthew Wright, lighting design by Jane Cox and sound design by Gregory Clarke. The Color Purple is being produced by special arrangement with Scott Sanders and Roy Furman.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7378 1713 or visit www.menierchocolatefactory.com for more details.