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Curve to stream The Color Purple at Home – in association with Birmingham Hippodrome 16 Feb – 7 March 2021

The Color Purple At Home

Following the success of its recent five-star production of Sunset Boulevard – at HomeCurve has announced plans to also stream The Color Purple online between Tue 16 Feb and Sun 7 Mar, in association with Birmingham Hippodrome.

Whilst the planned run of live performances is now sadly cancelled due to the uncertainty around national restrictions, Curve will safely bring together the 2019 award-winning company to stream the production for audiences to watch online. The Color Purple – at Home will be a fully reimagined concert version of the 2019 production, co-produced by Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome.

The Color Purple – at Home will be led by T’Shan Williams as Celie, with Danielle Fiamanya as Nettie, Karen Mavundukure as Sofia, Ako Mitchell as Mister and Simon Anthony Rhoden as Harpo. Also returning to Curve is Carly Mercedes Dyer, who played Anita in the acclaimed Made at Curve production of West Side Story. Carly will join the cast as Shug Avery.

The company is completed by returning cast members Geoff AymerKM Drew BoatengOwen Chaponda, Perola Congo, Danielle Kassarate, Anelisa Lamola, Rosemary Annabella Nkrumah, Jochebel Ohene MacCarthy, Landi Oshinowo and Jo Servi.

Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name, the musical will once again be directed by Tinuke Craig, alongside Musical Director Alex Parker, Designer Alex Lowde, Choreographer Mark Smith, Sound Designer Tom Marshall and Casting Director Kay Magson CDG. The production will be lit by Curve Associate Ben Cracknell.

Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:

After the phenomenal response to Sunset Boulevard, we are thrilled to present a special streamed version of The Color Purple for audiences across the UK and Ireland to enjoy at home. Reuniting our incredible 2019 company, Tinuke Craig’s production filled with hope and resilience, is sure to lift the spirits of all of us in these challenging times.”

“Connecting with our communities has never felt more important and alongside this production, there will be a series of talks, educational events and interactive projects. We are also proud to make free tickets available to thank our astonishing NHS workers and their families.

 “Theatre is all about collaboration and we have a wonderful group of partners who have made all this possible, in particular Theatrical Rights Worldwide and our associate producers Birmingham Hippodrome. The unwavering support of our sponsors PPL PRS and De Montfort University has been invaluable during this period. The combined efforts of these remarkable organisations have helped make all of this possible.

 “We also extend sincere thanks to Arts Council England, Leicester City Council and the Culture Recovery Fund for continuing to support Curve during this time.

 Birmingham Hippodrome’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive Fiona Allan said:   

 “We are delighted to be able to again partner with Curve, this time to stream a concert version of The Color Purple.

“The award-winning company is just incredible, and our audiences loved seeing the production live back in 2019.  Whilst we wait until we are able to reopen our theatres to the public, I’m thrilled we can share this new imagining of The Color Purple with you at home.”

The Color Purple – at Home is supported by Leicester-based music licensing company PPL PRS and De Montfort University whose sponsorship will enable Curve to offer free tickets to specific local community groups and young people. Birmingham Hippodrome is able to offer tickets to similar groups in Birmingham through the support they received through the Culture Recovery Fund.

As part of the run of streamed performances, Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome will offer 2,000 free tickets for NHS workers to enjoy the production at home, with tickets distributed through local NHS providers.

Tickets for The Color Purple – at Home are available to book now and are priced at £20 per household. The streamed production will be available to audiences in the UK and Ireland only and Curve will offer a range of accessible performances throughout the run, including captioned and audio described.

All current ticket holders for in-person performances of The Color Purple – in Concert will be contacted in due course by Curve’s Box Office team, and will be eligible for either a full refund or an exchange for an ‘at home’ ticket.

To find out more or to book tickets to The Color Purple – at Home, visit www.curveonline.co.uk

Made at Curve 2020 Christmas Musical announced!

The Wizard Of Oz
Nikolai Foster Photography by Ellie Kurttz

Nikolai Foster Photography by Ellie Kurttz

Curve has announced its Made at Curve 2020 Christmas musical, the regional premiere production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Wizard of Oz.

Based on the classic 1939 MGM film, The Wizard of Oz includes the iconic songs Somewhere Over The Rainbow, If I Only Had A Brain and Follow The Yellow Brick Road, as well as new music and songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Running 28 Nov 2020 – 16 Jan 2021 at Curve this Christmas, the magical family musical will be directed by Curve’s Artistic Director, Nikolai Foster, whose previous productions include West Side Story, White Christmas which ran at Curve and in London’s West End – and Scrooge the Musical.

Speaking about the announcement, Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:

“It’s thrilling to be working with Andrew Lloyd Webber and his team on the regional premiere of Andrew’s extraordinary version of The Wizard of Oz.

“Christmas at Curve is always a special time, but feels even more magical this year as we bring these much loved characters to life in our spectacular Made at Curve production of this classic.”

This Christmas, there’s no place like Curve!

 Join the Scarecrow, Tinman, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto as they follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City in search of a way back home – but in the technicolour wonderland of Oz, nothing is quite as it seems!

 The Wizard of Oz is directed by Nikolai Foster (West Side Story, White Christmas, Scrooge the Musical) and features a live orchestra playing music and songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, as well as the classics you know and love from the iconic MGM film.

Rediscover the true meaning of home and the value of friendship this festive season at Curve!

Tickets for The Wizard of Oz at Curve will be on sale to Curve Friends and Supporters Mon 17 Feb, Members Wed 19 Feb, Groups Thu 20 Feb and on general sale on Mon 24 Feb, all at 12 noon. To find out more and purchase seats, visit www.curveonline.co.uk, call Curve’s Box Office on 0116 242 3595 or visit the theatre in person.

The Wizard of Oz

Music by Harold Arlen • Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg • Additional Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber Additional Lyrics by Tim Rice • Adaption by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jeremy Sams

From the Book by L. Frank Baum

Based upon the Classic Motion Picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and produced with the permission of Warner Bros. and EMI Music Publishing

By arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd

Gary Lineker announced as Patron of NSDF as week-long event returns to Curve and Leicester in 2020

Gary Linekar

Leicester legend Gary Lineker has been announced as the Patron of next year’s NSDF (National Student Drama Festival), with the week-long event returning to his hometown 4 – 10 Apr 2020.

In partnership with Curve and Leicester City Council, the festival brings hundreds of young people who are passionate about theatre to Leicester to present their work, meet with peers and industry leading practitioners and to take part in workshops and classes. Last year’s festival saw Harriet Walter, Timberlake Wertenbaker, Simon Stephens and others give masterclasses, alongside many of the UK’s leading theatre companies.

One of the most prolific strikers in history, Gary Lineker began his footballing career at Leicester City and currently presents BBC One’s Match of the Day. Lineker is also a theatre fan and has previously called for more football followers to go to the theatre.

Speaking about becoming a Patron of NSDF, Lineker said:

“One of the greatest things about the NSDF is that it gives everyone the opportunity to participate in theatre, no matter who they are and that’s why I’m proud to represent the festival this year.

“I wanted to support the NSDF because I’m a lover of theatre and obviously I’m from Leicester. I think it’s good to encourage young people to go to the theatre because it’s so exciting to see – it’s like live sport!”

The NSDF was launched in 1956 and has since nurtured thousands of talented theatremakers including Ruth Wilson, Stephen Fry and Lena Headey with its annual festival.

During NSDF 2020, performances and workshops will take place in venues across Leicester, including Curve, the Sue Townsend Theatre, City Hall and in special new spaces. Resident companies will include Slung Low and Paines Plough.

James Phillips, Director of NSDF said:

“It’s brilliant to have Gary join us as Patron for NSDF 20. He’s a famous son of Leicester, a huge theatre lover and he’s uniquely placed to help us with our core aim: to make sure theatre is for everyone.

“All of us at NSDF are delighted to renew our partnership with Curve and Leicester City Council for the 2020 Festival.”

Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:

“We are all proud to once again be working with the terrific NSDF team, bringing this inspirational and vital festival for young people to our city.

“We look forward to welcoming the hundreds of students, practitioners and theatre companies to Leicester and Curve next April for what is sure to be an incredible and thought-provoking week of theatre.

“With Gary Lineker joining as Patron for the festival the call from all of us at Curve and here in Leicester is loud and clear – whoever you are, theatre is for you.”

Leicester City Council is supporting the NSDF as it returns to the city. Leicester City Mayor Peter Soulsby said:

“It will be fantastic to see NSDF back in the city in 2020. Leicester has a tremendous track record supporting theatre, and is a natural home for this week of events that celebrate and nurture new talent.”

Anthony Almeida announced as winner and Maria Crocker as runner-up of the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2019

Anthony Almeida

The Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST) and Leicester’s Curve have announced Anthony Almeida as the winner of the 2019 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award and Maria Crocker as the runner-up. Now in its fourth year, the award – which honours the memory of RTST co-founder, Sir Peter Hall – is made to an up-and-coming director demonstrating exceptional directing skills in a rigorous competitive process.

As the winner of the 2019 award, Anthony will now get the opportunity to direct a full-scale, fully funded production to open in 2020 at Curve, as a Made at Curve co-production between Curve, Rose Theatre Kingston and English Touring Theatre (ETT), then tour across the UK. The RTST will make a grant of £50,000 to Curve to be applied towards the costs of the winner’s production.

Anthony and Maria were selected by a panel comprising: Nikolai Foster (Artistic Director of Curve) as chair, and judges Jerry Gunn (Executive Producer at Rose Theatre Kingston), Carol Leeming (Poet and Playwright, Resident Assistant Director of Curve), Richard Twyman (Artistic Director of English Touring Theatre), Lindsay Posner (Theatre Director), Grace Smart (Theatre Set & Costume Designer), Cathy Tyson (Actor), Erica Whyman (Deputy Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company).

The scheme promotes the RTST’s charitable objectives by nurturing up-and-coming talent in the theatre and supporting British regional theatres. It is also intended to appeal to a wide range of candidates and to play a part in promoting diversity in the theatre, onstage, offstage and among audiences.

Chairman of the RTST, Sir Geoffrey Cass, said: “The 2019 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award had 8 finalists of the very highest quality, selected from a strong field of 53 candidates. Directing workshops – held over two full days, in which the finalists had to direct actors, observed by our immensely experienced panel of judges, and then be interviewed by the panel – constituted a unique and exacting test of their directing skills. The winner’s prize is the exceptional opportunity to direct a production that will premiere on the stage of Curve, Leicester, move on to the Rose Theatre, Kingston, then go on a main-stage national tour with English Touring Theatre (ETT). The RTST’s collaboration with Leicester’s Curve, Kingston’s Rose Theatre, and English Touring Theatre is admirably fulfilling the RTST’s twin primary charitable objectives of identifying and encouraging emerging theatre professionals and promoting British regional theatre”.

Deputy Chairman, Mark Hawes, said: “This unique Award propels Anthony Almeida deservedly into mid-scale regional tour direction. While there can only be one winner, the selection process has given other hugely talented directors rare and valuable exposure to the influential theatre practitioners who served on the judging panel.”

 Curve Chief Executive Chris Stafford, Artistic Director Nikolai Foster, Artistic Director of English Touring Theatre Richard Twyman and Rose Theatre Kingston Executive Producer Jerry Gunn said: “Anthony impressed the entire panel with his vision, rigour and ability to inspire actors. He showed a real passion for making work for audiences outside of London and we’re incredibly excited to collaborate with him on this production which will be seen in Leicester, Kingston and across the UK. We’d like to thank all of the directors that took part in the workshop weekend, who displayed such talent and inspired us all with their commitment to the process and craft of directing.”

Winner, Anthony Almeida said: Being named the 2019 winner of the mighty RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award is a gift. I’m feeling moved. I’m feeling ecstatic. At a time of ever increasing financial uncertainty, when up-and-coming directors can be seen as unnecessary risks, this opportunity is a true lifeline. The process encouraged and challenged all of me. It offers genuine warmth and demands utmost rigour. Now there’s work to be made – I’m thrilled to be taking the vital next steps in my artistic adventures with the big-hearted, wildly ambitious folk at Curve, ETT and Rose Theatre Kingston – to you all, and to the essential RTST: thank you.”

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The Royal Theatrical Support Trust and Curve invite entries for the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award 2019, in partnership with Rose Theatre Kingston and English Touring Theatre

Sir Peter Hall
Sir Peter Hall

Sir Peter Hall

The Royal Theatrical Support Trust (RTST) and Leicester’s Curve theatre have announced that the 2019 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award Scheme is now open for entries.

Now in its fourth year, the award – which honours the memory of RTST co-founder, Sir Peter Hall – will be made to an up-and-coming director who demonstrates exceptional directing skills and a passion for regional theatre in a rigorous competitive process.

The winner will get the opportunity to direct a full-scale, fully funded production of a classic or modern play, which may be an existing play or a new adaptation of a novel or film. The production will open in 2020 at Curve, as a Made at Curve co-production between Curve, Rose Theatre Kingston and English Touring Theatre (ETT), then tour across the UK. The RTST will make a grant of £50,000 to Curve to be applied towards the costs of the winner’s production.

The scheme promotes the RTST’s charitable objectives by nurturing up-and-coming talent in the theatre and supporting British regional theatres. It is also intended to appeal to a wide range of candidates and to play a part in promoting diversity in the theatre, onstage, offstage and among audiences.

The winning director will be chosen by a selection panel comprising Nikolai Foster (Artistic Director of Curve) as chair, and judges Jerry Gunn (Executive Producer at Rose Theatre Kingston), Carol Leeming (Poet and Playwright), Richard Twyman (Artistic Director of English Touring Theatre), Lindsay Posner (Director), Grace Smart (Designer), Cathy Tyson (Actor), Erica Whyman (Deputy Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company).

Previous award winners and official runners-up of the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award include Kate Hewitt and Rebecca Frecknall (2016); Chelsea Walker and Tinuke Craig (2017) and Nancy Medina and Josh Seymour (2018).

Chair of the RTST, Sir Geoffrey Cass, said:

“We’re delighted that Curve is collaborating with us on the 2019 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award and will be co-producing the winner’s production with Rose Theatre Kingston (of which Sir Peter Hall was the Founder) and English Touring Theatre. We’re proud that our Award will again be the catalyst for a national tour that will launch a director into mid-scale regional theatre. We’ve seen past Award winners and official runners-up having tremendous success, which bodes well for the winner of this year’s award.”

Chris Stafford, Chief Executive and Nikolai Foster, Artistic Director of Curve said:

“It is truly an honour for us to be associated with such an important director scheme and especially one that bears the name of an individual who has done so much for theatre in this country. The RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award has enjoyed great success over the years, offering proper career progression for directors making the transition from smaller stages into larger-scale productions. We are looking forward to working with a talented director to help them take this next career development step and create a thrilling production for us here in Leicester and at Rose Theatre Kingston, as well as in venues across the country thanks to our friends at English Touring Theatre.

“Theatre is all about collaboration and we are thrilled to be working alongside Mark Hawes at RTST, Jerry Gunn and his Rose team and Richard Twyman at ETT, who will ensure this production is seen across the UK.”

Entries for the RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award Scheme 2019 are now open. To enter, and for further details of the award, please visit the RTST’s website: www.rtst.org.uk. The closing date for entries is 6pm on Monday 1, July 2019.

T’Shan Williams Cast As ‘Celie’ in Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome’s Production Of ‘The Color Purple’ & First Look Imagery

The first images of Leicester’s Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome’s production of Tony Award-winning Broadway production The Color Purplehave been released, with T’Shan Williams set to take the role of Celie.

The regional UK premiere will play at Curve, Leicester from 28th June – 13th July, followed by 16th – 20th July at Birmingham Hippodrome, with a national press night at Curve on Wednesday 3rd July at 7pm.

T’Shan Williams joins the cast as heroine Celie. T’Shan’s previous credits include Heather Duke in Heathers The Musical (Theatre Royal, Haymarket & The Other Palace); Caroline, or Change (Hampstead Theatre) and Queen in The Life (Southwark Playhouse) for which she won the Off-West End award for Best Female in a Musical.

She joins the previously announced cast including Joanna Francis as Shug Avery, Ako Mitchell as Mister, Simon-Anthony Rhoden as Mister’s son Harpo, Karen Mavundukure as his wife Sophia, Danielle Fiamanya as Celie’s sister Nettie and Delroy Brown as Pa.

The cast is completed by Geoff AymerOwen ChapondaPerola Congo, KM Drew Boateng, Danielle KassaratéAnelisa LamolaRosemary Annabella NkrumahJochebel Ohene MacCarthyLandi Oshinowo and Jo Servi.

Directed by Tinuke CraigThe Color Purple is filled with a soul-raising musical score of jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues. The landmark musical, from Alice Walker’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel, classic hit film and Tony Award-winning production on Broadway, follows heroine Celie as she discovers her own identity and power over the course of 40 years in 19th century southern America. 

Creative Team

Director Tinuke Craig
Set & Costume Designer Alex Lowde
Musical Supervisor and Musical Director Alex Parker
Orchestrator Martin Higgins
Choreographer Mark Smith
Lighting Designer Joshua Pharo
Sound Designer Tom Marshall
Hair & Make-up Designer Cynthia De La Rosa
Casting Director Kay Magson CDG
Co-producers Birmingham Hippodrome

Curve (Leicester) Announce New Co-Production Of Hanif Kureishi’s ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’

My Beautiful Laundrette_Tour

CurveBelgrade Theatre Coventry, Everyman Theatre Cheltenham and Leeds Playhouse have today announced that they are joining forces to co-produce a new stage production of Hanif Kureishi’s screenplay My Beautiful LaundretteThe national press night will be held at Curve on 26 Sep at 7:15pm.

This bold new production of Hanif Kureishi‘s ground-breaking 1985 Oscar-nominated film of the same name will be directed by Curve’s Artistic Director Nikolai Foster (Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual and Joe Orton’s What the Butler Saw, both at Curve). Presented against a funky backdrop of 80s music and culture, this drama will explore cultural conflict, gender equality, class and generational strife.

The production will open at Curve in Leicester 20 Sep – 5 Oct, before touring to Everyman Theatre Cheltenham (8 – 12 Oct), Leeds Playhouse (15 – 26 Oct), Belgrade Theatre Coventry (29 Oct – 2 Nov) and Birmingham Repertory Theatre (5 – 9 Nov).

Set in London during the Thatcher years, My Beautiful Laundrette tells the story of young British Pakistani, Omar, who transforms his Uncle’s run-down laundrette into a thriving business. After being confronted by a fascist gang, Omar recognises school-friend Johnny and uses their history to diffuse the situation. As they renovate the laundrette together, love blossoms between them. This culture clash comedy is also a subversive work of social realism, sprinkled with magic and joy running through the rich veins of Kureishi’s writing.

Speaking about the announcement, Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said

“We are thrilled to be presenting Hanif Kureshi’s astonishing adaptation of his Oscar-nominated film My Beautiful Laundrette.

“Hanif surfs a multitude of strikingly relevant issues in his 1985 masterpiece – from the journey of the immigrant, English working class society, women’s roles in the family and the results of Thatcher’s policies. Kureishi does all of this with bucketloads of wit, openness, compassion and a sense of mischief at the absurdity of it all.

“We are looking forward to working with Hanif and our partners at Leeds Playhouse, Belgrade Theatre Coventry and Everyman Theatre Cheltenham very much.”

Hamish Glen, Artistic Director of Belgrade Theatre Coventry said:

“We’re really pleased to be continuing our ongoing partnership with Curve after the success of our previous co-productions Wipers and Pink Sari RevolutionMy Beautiful Laundrette forms part of our ongoing efforts to reach and retain new audiences, and with the support of our co-producers, we hope to strengthen the relationships we have already begun to develop with the Midlands’ diverse communities, particularly as Coventry moves towards its year as UK City of Culture in 2021.”

Everyman Theatre Cheltenham Chief Executive Mark Goucher said:

 “The 1985 film had a tremendous effect on me. It was radical, moving and very funny. The film launched the career of Daniel Day Lewis and made gay men of any race or class feel empowered and less frightened at a very difficult time. My theatre is delighted to be part of producing this exciting stage adaptation.”

Leeds Playhouse Artistic Director James Brining said:

“It’s really exciting to include the first major production of this contemporary classic as part of the first season in the newly refurbished Playhouse. The film broke new ground when it was released but its story still feels like a powerful and important statement about love, community and humanity. We are delighted to be co-producing with some excellent partners and sharing this incredible story with audiences throughout the UK.”

Further details and casting will be announced in due course.

Creative Team

Director – Nikolai Foster
Designer 
– Grace Smart
Lighting Designer – Ben Cracknell
Sound Designer – Tom Marshall
Casting Director – Kay Magson CDG

Tour Listings:

 

Curve, Leicester
20 Sep – 5 Oct
www.curveonline.co.uk
Tickets on-sale from 16 Apr

Everyman Theatre Cheltenham
8 – 12 Oct
www.everymantheatre.org.uk
Tickets on-sale soon

Leeds Playhouse
15 – 26 Oct
www.leedsplayhouse.org.uk
Tickets on-sale from 15 Apr

Belgrade Theatre Coventry
29 Oct – 2 Nov
www.belgrade.co.uk
Tickets on-sale soon

Birmingham Repertory Theatre
5 – 9 Nov
www.birmingham-rep.co.uk
Tickets on-sale soon

Casting Announced For The Color Purple – Curve (Leicester) and Birmingham Hippodrome Co-Production

The Color Purple
The Color Purple

The Color Purple

Leicester’s Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome today announced the full casting for their co-production of Oprah Winfrey’s hit Broadway musical, The Color Purple, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker. The production, the first to be created outside of London in the UK, will play at Curve, Leicester from 28th June – 13th July, followed by 16th – 20th July at Birmingham Hippodrome, with a national press night at Curve on Wednesday 3rd July at 7pm.

 Leading the cast is Seyi Omooba in the role of heroine Celie. Her theatre credits include Hadestown (National Theatre); Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors (Regent’s Park); Martha in Spring Awakening(Hope Mill Theatre) and Tilly in Junkyard (Bristol Old Vic and UK Tour). She also played the role of Nettie in the Cadogan Hall production of The Color Purple.

Joining Seyi is Joanna Francis who plays jazz singer and preacher’s daughter, Shug Avery. Most recently Joanna played the role of Lois in Dusty (UK Tour). Joanna returns to Curve following alternating the role of Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act in 2016. Her other credits include Elsa in The Harder They Come (Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Barbican Theatre/Birmingham Hippodrome) and alternate Dionne in Hair (The Vaults).

Following his recent roles of The Dryer and The Bus in the critically acclaimed Caroline or Change (Chichester, Hampstead and West End), Ako Mitchell joins The Color Purple as Celie’s abusive husband, Mister. His other theatre credits include Nicely-Nicely Johnson in Guys And Dolls (Manchester Royal Exchange), Eddie Mackrel in The Wild Party (The Other Place Theatre), Brooks in Grey Gardens(Southwark Playhouse), How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying (Royal Festival Hall), Mitch in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Donmar Warehouse), Eddie in Sister Act (London Palladium) and Mufasa in The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre).

They are joined by Simon-Anthony Rhoden (Lola in Kinky Boots – Adelphi Theatre), who plays Mister’s son, Harpo and Karen Mavundukure, who plays his wife, Sofia (Effie White in Dream Girls – Savoy Theatre).

Celie’s sister, Nettie, is played by recent graduate Danielle Fiamanya, and her father (Pa) is played by Delroy Brown (Marty Madison in Dream Girls – Savoy Theatre).

The cast is completed by Geoff AymerOwen ChapondaPerola Congo, KM Drew Boateng, Danielle KassaratéAnelisa LamolaRosemary Annabella NkrumahJochebel Ohene MacCarthyLandi Oshinowo and Jo Servi.

The show will be directed by Tinuke Craig, winner of the 2014 Genesis Future Directors Award. Tinuke’s recent credits include random/generations, a double bill of plays by Debbie Tucker Green at Chichester Festival Theatre and I Call my Brothers by Jonas Hassen Khemiri at the Gate Theatre.

The Color Purple is an unforgettable story told over the course of 40 years, which follows courageous heroine Celie, as she journeys through joy, despair, anguish and hope in her own personal awakening to discover her unique voice in the world.

With a profoundly evocative score drawing inspiration from jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, this moving family chronicle set in racially divided southern America, celebrates life, love and the strength to stand up for who you are and what you believe in.

Speaking about the announcement, Curve’s 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 Made at Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome co-production of the stunning musical The Color Purple. We are looking forward to welcoming them all to Leicester very much and know they will 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 said:

“We’re very proud to be working on this co-production with our friends at Curve Leicester, and hope it’s the start of many more collaborations.  I know that our audiences here in the West Midlands will find the powerful story and characters both socially and culturally relevant; and what an incredible cast and creative team has been assembled to tell it.  I can’t think of a better way to mark the Hippodrome’s 120thbirthday than with our first main stage co-production.”

 Creative Team

Director Tinuke Craig

Set & Costume Designer Alex Lowde

Musical Supervisor Alex Parker

Orchestrator Martin Higgins

Choreographer Mark Smith

Lighting Designer Joshua Pharo

Sound Designer Tom Marshall

Hair & Make-up Designer Cynthia De La Rosa

Casting Director Kay Magson CDG

Co-producers Birmingham Hippodrome

 Tickets for The Color Purple are on sale. Further details can be found online on www.curveonline.co.uk or www.birminghamhippodrome.com.