The Color Purple Comes to London

Copyright Wikipedia

Copyright Wikipedia

By Soraya Downie

A stage production of the 1982 novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker is set for a show at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory on July 5.

What is The Color Purple

The African American drama sets around the life and times of Celie, as she journeys from childhood to adulthood, along the way she experiences joy, tragedy, hope, love and anguish.


 

Film adaption

In the Steven Spielberg film adaption in 1985, Celie was played by US actress Whoopi Goldberg, Akosua Busia played her sister Nettie and US actress and TV talk host, Oprah Winfrey starred as their friend Sofia.

Proving to be a huge commercial success, the film was awarded 11 Academy Awards nominations and four Golden Globes, with Goldberg winning Best Actress (Drama).


 

Divided opinion

The novel is still considered to be one of the best novels of the 1980s and in American history.

Marie Kolawole, 30, a dental nurse from Camberwell, said, “The Color Purple is an exceptional story and I really enjoyed the film when I was growing up. I am slightly dubious in whether the British cast can capture the American nature of it.”

“As it looks at the hard times of African Americans, I’m hoping they really try to imitate the essence of film and really show Celie’s journey and everything she had gone through.”

Who’s who

This will be the first time that a theatre production of The Color Purple will take place in the UK, as it had been previously on Broadway in the new York in 2005.

The Color Purple’s first European premiere will showcase British talent, with stars from other big productions starring in the big lead roles.

Cynthia Erivo, who stars in Sister Act: The Musical, will take on the role of Celie and Abiona Omonua, stars in both Legally Blonde and Hairspray, will play the role of Nettie.

A worthy winner

Walker’s novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, making her the first African American woman to achieve this.

Fanatic theatre fan, Callum Moore, 27, from Camden, said “I think the show will be amazing. I’ve been waiting a long time to see a stage production of it here and it’d be interesting to see how it turns out.”

The Primary school teacher also said, “The book itself was fascinating, I’m just praying that all the British cast do a good job and bring the story to life on stage.”

Look out for…

The UK show will be directed and designed by Tony Award winner, John Doyle and adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Marsha Norman.

The London Menier Chocolate Factory is located on Southwark Street, South London.

Tickets are on sale now and are priced between £29.50 and £37.50.

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