Hampstead Theatre has announced its spring/summer 2020 programme, Hampstead Classics, celebrating 60 years of original theatre.
Celie’s journey from despair to belief, love and hope is, in T’Shan Williams’ hands, a believable and rewarding experience in The Color Purple.
Jenna Russell will lead the company for the UK premiere of Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman’s musical adaptation of Robert James Waller’s bestselling novel The Bridges of Madison County in a new staging by Trevor Nunn at the Menier Chocolate Factory.
The Color Purple’s book, movie and musical have all told the extraordinary story of a Celie, a brutally oppressed woman who against all odds, overcomes racism, abuse and misogyny to find her unique place in 20th century America. Not seen in London since the Menier’s sensational production in 2013, the musical returned to the capital this week for a one night only concert-staged fundraiser.
Frances Hodgson Burnett, author of The Secret Garden, was the J K Rowling of her day.
It says much for London’s modest but acclaimed Menier Chocolate Factory that their production of The Color Purple, first staged three years ago, has been shipped back to Broadway to a rave reception. John Doyle’s simple staging that worked so well in the Menier’s cockpit, all stripped-back wood and chairs, has been neatly expanded to fit the Bernard B Jacobs’ cavernous stage and the transition works well.