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Review Roundup: THE COLOR PURPLE - AT HOME From Curve Leicester; What Did the Critics Think?

The production is streaming through Sunday 7 March.

Review Roundup: THE COLOR PURPLE - AT HOME From Curve Leicester; What Did the Critics Think?

Curve is now streaming The Color Purple online through Sunday 7 March, in association with Birmingham Hippodrome.

The production is 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, joining the cast as Shug Avery.

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

Let's see what the critics are saying...


Fiona Scott, BroadwayWorld: Williams is just wonderful as Celie: endearingly reserved and withdrawn in her vulnerable scenes while reveling in moments of respite and realisation, particularly during "Miss Celie's Pants" and the heart-stopping "I'm Here". I challenge you not to be moved by the journey of this eleven o'clock number. There are strong performances across the board. Danielle Fiamanya is delightfully determined as Celie's ambitious sister, Nettie. Ako Mitchell is a suitably sinister Mister, Karen Mavundukure steals scenes as Sofia, and Carly Mercedes Dyer glows as the glamorous Shug Avery.

Ray Rackham, British Theatre: The show belongs to Williams, whose incomparable Celie is perfectly crafted, exposed and sung; each aside directed to us through the camera lens in an exhilarating reminder of her stagecraft, each note sang with the anguish of a woman admonished by the society in which she is trapped, yet determined to not let it beat her. Much is always made of the song I'm Here, so it is particularly pleasurable to see Williams managing to make it her own.

Clive Davis, The Times: Could the venue pull off another miracle? Not quite. The cast in The Color Purple deliver sterling performances, and some of the gospel-tinged music is joyous, but this unwieldy morality tale runs out of steam well before the end. Only Broadway sentimentality keeps it chugging through suffering and hardship towards a happy ending.

Helen Tope, The Reviews Hub: Dealing with the weightiness of Walker's novel, the music and lyrics of The Color Purple dig deep into African-American culture. We move from gospel, to jazz and ragtime. This is music raising people's voices when no other source of power was available to them. As Celie, T'Shan Williams delivers a galvanising performance: the strength of Williams' voice is no surprise to anyone familiar with her work, but the ability to hold us in quieter moments is seriously impressive. The simple authority of Celie, unknown even to herself, is pitched perfectly.

Philip Lowe, East Midlands Theatre: T'Shan Williams as Celie is phenomenal. From naïve daughter to mature woman, the journey from childhood to self-awareness is demonstrated not just through expression and physicality, but in the change in power of her voice and presence. We feel every step with her and the intimacy of the filming only supports this. In fact, the socially distanced performance has no negative impact at all. Scenes that might normally feature a kiss, a hug, a passionate embrace work just as well through the power of the actors' storytelling and the tightness of the excellent direction by Tinuke Craig.


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