Review By Caroline Hanks-Farmer: The Color Purple at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton.


I first saw The Color Purple at Cadogan Hall a few years ago in it’s concert format, I was moved to tears. No set, just epic performances, jump forward to last night, a full blown musical at my local theatre, The Mayflower and can you just imagine how I felt?

This musical really does take you on a journey of feelings: youthful joy and expectation, rage, injustice, sadness, harsh reality, and euphoria. Those are just a few, because this cast really do awaken your consciousness.

I enjoyed the fact in by using projection, minimal but highly clever and effective staging and costumes, your imagination created the era and mood of the time.

Me’sha Bryan’s breathtaking performance of Celie, using her voice to create the emotion, showed immense talent. She made me smile and cry, she really captivated my heart. Mister was played by Ako Mitchell. Ako made you abhor all his character traits, only to then show a vulnerability after his epiphany later in the show. To make an audience feel utter disdain and then win them over, show absolute skill. I’d love to mention all of the cast individually but i’m afraid I’d run out of superlatives very quickly. So just to say, pivotal performances for me came from Aaliyah Zhané (Nettie), Anelisa Lamola (Sofia) Ahmed Hamad (Harpo) and Rosemary Annabella Nkrumah (Shug).

This musical deals with some really hard hitting subjects, and creates a long-lasting, thought-provoking experience.

On at The Mayflower until Saturday 29th October, go and see, it really is a must-see show where the performancse will stay with you for a very long time.