Tue 17 Nov 2020

Curve theatre has revealed new dates and further casting for its upcoming season of socially distanced performances.

Following the latest lockdown measures in England, Curve has rescheduled The Color Purple in Concert to Monday 1 to Saturday 13 Mar 2021. Sunset Boulevard in Concert will now open slightly later than originally planned and run Friday 18 Dec – Saturday 9 Jan. Dates for Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual remain unchanged (Monday 25 Jan to Saturday 6 Feb). All three productions will be fully costumed and performed in the round in the theatre’s newly transformed 533-seat socially distanced auditorium, with concert performances of Sunset Boulevard and The Color Purple making use of a triple revolve donated by Sir Cameron Mackintosh.

Joining the previously announced Ria Jones as Norma Desmond and Danny Mac as Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard will be a host of original company members from Curve’s award-winning 2017 touring production. Molly Lynch will reprise her role as Betty Schaefer, Adam Pearce returns as Max Von Mayerling, Dougie Carter as Artie Green and Carl Sanderson as Cecil B DeMille.

The Sunset Boulevard company will also include Benjamin Chambers, Owen Chaponda, Joanna Goodwin, Kristoffer Hellström, James Meunier, Gemma Naylor, Joanna O’Hare, Jessica Paul, Sam Peggs and Barney Wilkinson.

Set over a turbulent New Year’s Eve in 1940s Hollywood, Sunset Boulevard is a gripping tale of romance, glamour and obsession. Curve’s Artistic Director Nikolai Foster will once again direct this production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical masterpiece, which features book and lyrics by Don Black and Christopher Hampton and is based on the 1950 film by Billy Wilder.

A 16-piece orchestra, supported by music licensing company PPL, will bring the musical’s score to life with musical supervision by Stephen Brooker. Set Designer Colin Richmond, Video Designer Douglas O’Connell and Choreographer Lee Proud will also rejoin the production team.

Led by the previously announced T’Shan Williams as Celie, original company members of Curve’s 2019 production of The Color Purple, including KM Drew Boateng, Owen Chaponda, Perola Congo, Danielle Kassarate, Anelisa Lamola, Karen Mavundukure, Rosemary Annabella Nkrumah, Landi Oshinowo, Simon Anthony Rhoden and Jo Servi, will also return to Curve’s stage next year. Due to prior commitments, Danielle Fiamanya is now unable to join as Nettie in the rescheduled performances.

Based on Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, performances of this evocative and life-affirming musical will be directed by Tinuke Craig, with a six-piece orchestra led by Musical Director Alex Parker. The team will be joined by Set Designer Alex Lowde and Choreographer Mark Smith.

Both productions of Sunset Boulevard and The Color Purple will be lit by Curve Associate Ben Cracknell, with sound design from Tom Marshall.

Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual will see award-nominated Leicester actor Hareet Deol reprise his role as Suf Khan in Dougal Irvine’s drama based on the real life of reformed Leicester football hooligan Riaz Khan, who will also rejoin the cast. Director Nikolai Foster will once again bring the 80s streets of Leicester to life on Curve’s stage, with design from Grace Smart. Lighting Designer Charlotte Burton and Composer Tasha Taylor Johnson also join the show’s production team.

Full casting for all three productions will be announced in due course, with The Color Purple and Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual casting by Curve Associate Kay Magson CDG, and Sunset Boulevard casting by David Grindrod CDG. Both productions of The Color Purple and Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual are also being supported by De Montfort University.

Curve’s Chief Executive Chris Stafford and Artistic Director Nikolai Foster said:

“Although the latest lockdown has impacted on our scheduled plans, we are pleased to confirm new dates for both The Color Purple and Sunset Boulevard.

“Working on The Color Purple, Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual and Sunset Boulevard have been highlights for us at Curve over the past few years. When these productions closed, we could never have imagined these incredible shows would one day play a monumental role in reopening our theatre and welcoming audiences back into our building.

“We are thrilled an incredible ensemble of actors, musicians and creatives will be joining us from next month to bring these extraordinary plays to life. Ria Jones, T’Shan Williams, Danny Mac, Hareet Deol, Adam Pearce and Molly Lynch all made a huge impact in their respective roles, and we are delighted they are returning to Curve to lead our ‘Welcome Back’ company of actors, musicians and creatives. Seeing these actors close-up, in the round, will be thrilling and we can’t wait to revisit these wonderful plays once more in our specially adapted Covid-safe theatre.

“We are indebted to the DCMS and Arts Council England for the Culture Recovery Fund grant which will enable Curve to reopen with social distancing. However, we have a long road to recovery and the best way audiences can support our theatre is by purchasing a ticket to see one of these incredible shows. We guarantee audiences will not lose their money if shows are forced to be cancelled or if someone is unwell prior to attending.”

Tickets for Sunset Boulevard, Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual and The Color Purple at Curve are on sale now. Curve will be in touch with all customers affected by the rescheduled dates to arrange automatic ticket transfers.

To welcome audiences safely back to the theatre, Curve has implemented a number of new measures throughout its building, including additional cleaning, temperature checks and a one-way system. For further information on Covid safety at Curve, visit – www.curveonline.co.uk/re-opening-faqs/