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Where next for The Color Purple?

The Color Purple
The Color Purple

The Color Purple

Brexit has been delayed, the far-right is on the rise & global warming continues.

But fear not. An actress with extreme views on LGBTQ+ folk has just been cast as a lesbian in The Color Purple. Repeat. An actress with extreme views on LGBTQ+ folk has just been cast as a lesbian in The Color Purple.

At the time of writing this, Oluwaseyi Omooba will be leading the cast in the role of Celie in the upcoming Curve Leicester and Birmingham Hippodrome production.

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).

Omooba has faced allegations of  fanatic, offensive views in recent days after an old Facebook status emerged online – that read: “I do not believe homosexuality is right” the social media post in question was posted in 2015.

But how Omooba herself, and the co-producers of Oprah Winfrey’s Broadway musical reconcile their thoughts on the evils of homosexuality with the lead playing a lesbian is a whole new level of crazy.

Because, for all the talk of inclusivity, it is quite obvious, that this is pretty low-grade stuff. The arts should lead the way with tolerance and respect. These kind of views are not welcome in my sector.

It’s a bridge too far.

This kind of scandal has become ubiquitous in the recent years: an offensive social media post is uncovered & it normally ends with a public apology, and often a firing.

As a result, Curve Leicester and Birmingham Hippordrome responded rapidly to the post, which is currently spreading through theatre Twitter like wildfire.

“The views expressed in the historic social media post by a member of Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome’s The Color Purple cast in no way reflect those held by either of our theatres,” was the message rolled out on both Curve & Hippodrome’s social media handles. It continues, “We will be looking into the matter and will issue a full response in due course.”

Fair enough, but let us hope that Omooba does the right thing: apologises pronto and exits the production. It’s hard then to think of anyone less suited to a role in this musical or, in fact, any musical.

Where next for The Color Purple?

Omooba has remained silent on the topic, which is probably best. Because the more you delve into this one the more alarming it becomes.

Earlier this week, her father Ade Omooba a pastor who co-founded Christian Concern – was awarded an MBE for his work in voluntary service.

Hang on… WHAT?

Indeed, Christian Concern are a group that advocates for gay conversion therapy; the practice also known as “ex-gay therapy” or reparative therapy promotes the insane idea that being gay is something that should, and can, be “cured”.

Jesus wept.

The Colour Purple is a musical that ‘celebrates life, love and the strength to stand up for who you are and what you believe in.’

I am glad that Curve and The Hippodrome are taking it seriously and perhaps reconsidering the wisdom of this casting.

Then we will see how much they really believe in what they’re selling.

The Alternative Queen’s Christmas Message from Dan Glass, UK Activist Of The Year – Sexual Freedom Awards

A QUEEN’S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE 

A Queen’s Christmas Message from Jeremy Goldstein for LAP on Vimeo.

Created by Dan Glass, Jeremy Goldstein, and Daniel Saul with David Stuart at 56 Dean Street

From Emmeline Pankhurst to Marsha P Johnson and ACT UP London, this 4-minute film celebrates the power of the individual to incite change through community activism.

Dan Glass says: “In 2017, we continued our journey towards equality, love and sexual freedom through celebrated acts of triumph and resistance. In 2018, we mark 30 years since the hated Clause 28 was passed, and the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote. More than ever, our hard-won freedoms and civil liberties are now under attack, so please support this important message and help our unique take on a Christmas Classic go viral.”

Jeremy Goldstein says: “I am super proud to launch ‘A Queen’s Christmas Message’ with ACT UP London. In the words of Penny Arcade ‘hitting like on Facebook is not activism’ so as we enter 2018, let’s be vigilant, and do what we can to combat stigma and the rising tide of fascism. Small acts of wonder, humour and defiance really can change the world, so please share this short film to increase awareness, joy and happiness in 2018.”

Dan Glass is among the UK’s most prominent LGBTQI and HIV activists campaigning hard for over a decade to combat stigma and to improve services for queer Londoners in areas such as health, environment, housing, and social justice. In 2014, he revitalised ACT UP London, and in 2015 led the now infamous Beyond UKIP Cabaret pub protest against then UKIP leader Nigel Farage. In 2008 Dan superglued himself to former Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street, in protest over Heathrow Airport’s third runway. His new project ‘Bang Bus’ for ‘Queer Tours of London’ will run throughout 2018.

Jeremy Goldstein is a creative producer and writer whose work has been described as ‘an evocative theatrical wonderland’ (Guardian). He founded London Artists Projects in 2000, winning a number of major theatre awards for newly commissioned work. In 2012 Jeremy was named in Time Out as among the 100 most influential people in UK culture for ‘proving political theatre can be fun and outrageous’. In 2018 Jeremy’s new show ‘Truth to Power Café’ will tour the UK and internationally.

AND THE REST OF ME FLOATS: A new production from Outbox Theatre

And The Rest Of Me Floats
And The Rest Of Me Floats

And The Rest Of Me Floats

Outbox Theatre present a new show all about the messy business of gender. Working with performers from across the trans*, non-binary, lesbian and gay communities, Outbox Theatre examine the ways in which gender is questioned, categorised, and policed (often violently so). And The Rest Of Me Floats is devised by the company and weaves together autobiographical performance, movement, pop songs, stand-up and dress-up in an anarchic celebration of the body that refuses to conform.

This show couldn’t come at a more relevant time – a Stonewall-commissioned survey in 2017 tells us that almost half of trans pupils in the UK have attempted to take their own lives and hate crime towards the LGBTQ community is on the rise. In their inimitable style, acclaimed theatre company Outbox take an unflinching look at how gender impacts the queer body. Expect bold, exciting and experimental theatre made by an extra-fierce company of talented performers.

Performer Yasmin Zadeh says: “As a professional lesbian actress it is rare to find work that represents my identity. Growing up I was often confused by my sexuality and my gender and how they work together.  This show gives me the opportunity to share stories from my past (like the time I convinced all the kids down my street I was a boy called Max!) as well as finding new ways to express the complex ways in which my gender continues to affect my life.”

Performer Elijah Harris says: “As a trans person and an actor, it is important part of my practise to work with the lived experience of transitioning and constant shifts of gender identity. It is an ongoing and very present process.

And that is exactly what Outbox allows me to do, we explore ourselves, together. We are determined to be visible.”

Listings information:

Date: 12TH-23RD SEPTEMBER (EXCLUDING 17,18TH)

Venue: Mill Co. Rose Lipman Building, 43 De Beauvoir Rd, London N1 5SQ
Start Time: 7.30PM (1 Hour)

Date: 13TH-14TH NOVEMBER

Venue: Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Chamberlain Square, Centenary Square, Birmingham B3 3HQ
Start Time: 8PM (1 Hour)

Tickets

London:

www.outboxtheatre.com

Birmingham:

https://www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/whats-on/and-the-rest-of-me-floats.html

Production Details:

Director: Ben Buratta

Designer: Rūta Irbite

Cast to be announced.

Theatre Royal Stratford East offer free tickets to people named Summer for world première of Rikki Beadle-Blair’s Summer In London

Summer In London

Summer In London

Summer In London

Theatre Royal Stratford East today invite anyone who shares the name of the production’s title role, Summer to attend the world première of Rikki Beadle-Blair’s new rom-com Summer in London for free. Summer in London, opens at Theatre Royal Stratford East today and runs until 29 July.

Anyone named Summer will be entitled to one free ticket to the show on a date of their choice (subject to availability). Please note that to claim free ticket photo ID will be required.

Come and celebrate the first play in mainstream British theatre led by an all trans cast, written and directed by award-winning filmmaker and LGBTQ activist Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE.

Four friends court the same woman on a budget of nothing while the sun shines. A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Generation Rent in a city that still hides a bit of magic, if you know where to look.

As the sun sets and the drinks flow things get complicated, and we discover nothing is as it first appears.

A love letter to London and a story of friendship, love and finding yourself. Don’t miss this funny, sexy and life-affirming night out!

Theatre Royal Stratford East                                                                                                                       Listings

Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN

Box Office: 020 8534 0310

www.stratfordeast.com

http://www.stratfordeast.com/whats-on/all-shows

Facebook: theatreroyalstratfordeast

Twitter: @stratfordeast
Instagram: theatre_royal_stratford_east

Youtube: theatreroyalstratfordeast

8 July – 29 July

Press night: 13 July 7pm

 Ticket prices

Newham Discount Night £2.50

8-12 Jul previews £12-£15

Mon-Thu until 20 Jul £12-£22

Tue-Thu from 25-27 Jul £12-£25

Fri-Sat £12-£25

Concessions from £8

Access performances

Signed Fri 28 Jul 7.30pm

Audio Described Sat 29 Jul 2.30pm

Captioned Wed 26 Jul 7.30pm