Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Photos & Video: Go Inside Rehearsals for THE COLOR PURPLE UK Tour

Leading the company as the downtrodden but full-hearted heroine Celie is Me’sha Bryan.

Leicester's Curve theatre and Birmingham Hippodrome are presenting a co-production of acclaimed musical The Color Purple, which is set to tour England and Wales for the first time this autumn.

Check out rehearsal photos and video below!

Leading the company as the downtrodden but full-hearted heroine Celie is Me'sha Bryan, whose previous roles have included Romantics Anonymous (Bristol Old Vic), Caroline, or Change (The Playhouse Theatre) and The Lion King (UK tour). The role of glamorous singer Shug Avery will be played by Bree Smith (The Wiz, Hope Mill Theatre), Aaliyah Zhané (The Comedy of Errors, Mercury Theatre) joins as Celie's sister Nettie, Harpo will be played by Ahmed Hamad (The Addams Family, UK Tour and The Boy in the Dress, RSC) and Squeak will be portrayed by Jimand Allotey, who makes her professional stage debut in the production.

The tour sees several cast members from Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome's original award-winning production return, including Ako Mitchell as Mister, Anelisa Lamola as Sofia, KM Drew Boateng as Pa, Rosemary Annabella Nkrumah as Darlene and Karen Mavundukure as Doris and Alternate Celie.

The cast also includes Kyle Birch, Kayla Carter, Joshua Clemetson, Esme Laudat, Deearna Mclean, Monifa James, Alex Okoampa, Neil Patterson and Kellah-M Spring.

The Color Purple will once again be directed by Tinuke Craig, with Lakesha Arie-Angelo as Revival Director. Also resuming their roles on the production team are Musical Supervisor Alex Parker, Orchestrator Martin Higgins, Choreographer Mark Smith, Set and Costume Designer Alex Lowde, Video Designer Joshua Pharo, Sound Designer Tom Marshall, Wigs, Hair and Make-Up Designer Cynthia De La Rosa and Casting Director Kay Magson CDG, with Ian Oakley as Musical Director, Ricardo Pardo as Associate Designer, Gail Parmel and Iona Waite as Associate Choreographers, Kev McCurdy as Fight Director, Hazel Holder as Voice Coach, Gerrard Martin as Intimacy Director, Naomi Thompson as Costume Supervisor, Nicole Iroh as Wigs, Hair and Make-Up Supervisor and Nigel Bailey as Wellbeing Practitioner also joining.

The tour will open at Birmingham Hippodrome 13 to 17 September, the musical will then visit Theatre Royal Plymouth (27 September to 1 October), Royal & Derngate Northampton (4 to 8 October), The Lowry in Salford (11 to 15 October), Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff (18 to 22 October), Mayflower Theatre Southampton (25 to 29 October), finishing its run at Norwich Theatre Royal (1 to 5 November). Listings and ticket information can be found below.

Based on Alice Walker's Pulitzer prize-winning novel and adapted for the stage by Pulitzer Prize and Tony award-winner Marsha Norman, Allee Willis, Brenda Russell and Stephen Bray, The Color Purple tells the powerful and life-affirming story of courageous heroine Celie. Abused and oppressed throughout her youth, Celie embarks on a journey through joy, despair, anguish and hope, discovering her own unique voice thanks to the incredible women in her life. From an unbreakable bond with her sister Nettie, to friendship with fiercely independent Sofia and a life-changing affair with glamorous singer Shug Avery, Celie learns to love herself.

With a profoundly evocative score by Grammy award-winners Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray and drawing inspiration from jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, this landmark musical celebrates life, love and the strength to stand up for who you are and what you believe in.

Photo Credit: Ellie Kurttz

Photos & Video: Go Inside Rehearsals for THE COLOR PURPLE UK Tour

Me'sha Bryan

Monifa James
Monifa James

Mark Smith and Bree Smith
Mark Smith and Bree Smith

The cast
The cast

The cast
The cast

Rosemary Annabella Nkrumah
Rosemary Annabella Nkrumah

Tinuke Craig
Tinuke Craig

Ako Mitchell, Mesha Bryan and Aaliyah Zhane
Ako Mitchell, Me'sha Bryan and Aaliyah Zhane

Aaliyah Zhane, Mesha Bryan and DeeArna McLean
Aaliyah Zhane, Me'sha Bryan and Deearna Mclean

Kev McCurdy, Ahmed Hamad and Jimand Allotey
Kev McCurdy, Ahmed Hamad and Jimand Allotey

Karen Mavundukure, Rosemary Annabella Nkrumah and Esme Laudat
Karen Mavundukure, Rosemary Annabella Nkrumah and Esme Laudat

Esme Laudat, Kyle Birch and Karen Mavundukure
Esme Laudat, Kyle Birch and Karen Mavundukure

Alex Okoampa, Bree Smith, Monifa James and Neil Patterson
Alex Okoampa, Bree Smith, Monifa James and Neil Patterson

Monifa James, Kayla Carter, Esme Laudat and KM Drew Boateng
Monifa James, Kayla Carter, Esme Laudat and KM Drew Boateng

Landing Mane and Ansoumana Bakayoko
Landing Mane and Ansoumana Bakayoko

Ako Mitchell
Ako Mitchell

Aaliyah Zhan and the cast
Aaliyah Zhan and the cast


TodayTix


From This Author - BroadwayWorld TV


Photos & Video: THE MUSIC MAN Barbershop Quartet Visits Chef Melba Wilson to Celebrate 'Melba's Music Man Sundae'Photos & Video: THE MUSIC MAN Barbershop Quartet Visits Chef Melba Wilson to Celebrate 'Melba's Music Man Sundae'
September 29, 2022

Yesterday, the Barbershop Quartet from the revival of The Music Man visited Chef Melba Wilson at her iconic Harlem institution, Melba’s Restaurant. Melba served up some of her famous dishes before surprising the group with a new special edition item that has been added to her menu: “Melba’s Music Man Sundae.” See photos and video here!

Video: Watch Scenes from Tom Stoppard's LEOPOLDSTADT on BroadwayVideo: Watch Scenes from Tom Stoppard's LEOPOLDSTADT on Broadway
September 29, 2022

Leopoldstadt, Tom Stoppard's Olivier Award-winning Best New Play, directed by two-time Tony Award nominee Patrick Marber, and produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Roy Furman, and Lorne Michaels opens soon on Broadway. Check out a video of the cast in action!

Photos/Video: First Look at the New Cast of HAIRSPRAY on Tour, Featuring Andrew Levitt aka Nina WestPhotos/Video: First Look at the New Cast of HAIRSPRAY on Tour, Featuring Andrew Levitt aka Nina West
September 29, 2022

All new photos and video have been released of the new cast of the North American tour of Hairspray, helmed by Jack O’Brien and Jerry Mitchell. Check out the clips and photos here!

Video: Watch a Sneak Peek of Kennedy Center's GUYS AND DOLLS, Starring James Monroe Iglehart, Jessie Mueller, Phillipa Soo & Steven PasqualeVideo: Watch a Sneak Peek of Kennedy Center's GUYS AND DOLLS, Starring James Monroe Iglehart, Jessie Mueller, Phillipa Soo & Steven Pasquale
September 29, 2022

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will soon present its Broadway Center Stage production of Guys and Dolls. Helmed by Marc Bruni, the all-star cast will be led by Tony Award® winner James Monroe Iglehart as Nathan Detroit, Tony Award® winner Jessie Mueller as Miss Adelaide, Steven Pasquale as Sky Masterson, and Tony Award® nominee and Grammy Award® winner Phillipa Soo as Sarah Brown. Watch video highlights of the cast in rehearsals!

Video: Dominic Fumusa Talks Returning to the Stage in JASPERVideo: Dominic Fumusa Talks Returning to the Stage in JASPER
September 28, 2022

Dominic Fumusa is currently starring onstage in the World premiere of Grant MacDermott's play JASPER off-Broadway, directed by Katie McHugh, which opened off-Broadway at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center. He's telling us all about his latest gig in this video!