BrumHour saw The Color Purple at the invitation of Birmingham Hippodrome.
For Brum Radio’s Interval Theatre, Dave Massey checked out rehearsals of The Color Purple. Listen back here:
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
As part of its 120th Anniversary celebrations Birmingham Hippodrome is embarking on its own home produced content and the first large production it is staging is The Color Purple The Musical a co-production between Leicester Curve and Birmingham Hippodrome.
This production contains references to rape and scenes of physical abuse and misogyny.
The Color Purple The Musical at Birmingham Hippodrome
Directed by Tinuke Craig, Book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, and Stephen Bray
A slice of broadway is at Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday 20th July as The Color Purple hits the main stage with its adaptation of Alice Walker’s 1982 bestselling novel.
After her mother dies Celie (T’shan Williams) is married off by Old Mister (Geoff Aymer) to Mister (Ako Mitchell) to treats her like a slave with beatings and threats of more beatings. Mister really wanted to marry Celie’s sister Nettie (Danielle Flamanya) and when she resists his grabbing he sends her away. Mister’s son Harpo (Simon-Anthony Rhoden) has married a strong willed woman Sofia (Karen Mavundukure), downtrodden herself Celie tells Harpo to beat his wife if he wants to control her. Time passes and Shug Avery (Joanna Francis) arrives at Mister’s home and her affections bring Celie a sexual awakening.
This is a beautifully vibrant production dealing with some incredibly serious issues, but it tackles them with hope, strength and empowerment. The set is two large wooden walls like a story book with windows that open into sets from a barn, a home, a church and a bar.
Tinuke Craig is a refreshing director who breathes life into these characters. The costumes feel both timeless and of the time. Vocals are spot on, T’shan Williams voice and vulnerability demonstrates why she’s perfect for this role. I’ve been waiting for some months to see this and I’ve avoided reading anything further than what I already knew. I was thrilled.
A production set over time can sometimes be jarring but this co-production which tells a story over forty years in the early 20th century.
As Birmingham Hippodrome’s first co-production this is a statement of debut in British producing theatre, Diverse, international, informed and full of passion, with a the right amount of assured jazz hands! One to watch!
The Color Purple The Musical is at Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday 20th July. Book tickets here: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/the-color-purple
This isn’t a sponsored post.
When not writing about theatre for BrumHour, or producing Interval Theatre for Brum Radio (Tuesdays 3pm) brumradio.com/intervaltheatre,
Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and claiming to be at the gym. And tweeting about Birmingham for #BrumHour.