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John Doyle Directs U.K. ‘Color Purple’

Musical will have its European debut at London's Menier Chocolate Factory

LONDON — The tuner version of Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple” will receive its European preem at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory this summer in a new production helmed by John Doyle.

Produced by special arrangement with American commercial backers Scott Sanders and Roy Furman, the musical features a book by Marsha Norman with music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray. Originally produced by the Alliance Theater in Atlanta in 2004 and helmed by Gary Griffin, the show transferred to Broadway in 2005 for a run of more than two years.

No casting has yet been announced for the Menier engagement, which runs July 5-Sept. 14 with a July 15 opening. It will be the first London work from Brit helmer Doyle (“Sweeney Todd,” the current Off Broadway production of “Passion”) since his 2011 production of the revised version of Sondheim’s “Road Show” at the same address.

The Menier Chocolate Factory is currently presenting a SRO-revival of Sondheim’s “Merrily We Roll Along.” That tuner transfers to the West End’s Harold Pinter Theater for a strictly limited 12-week season from April 23.

Prior to “The Color Purple,” the Menier hosts the first London revival of David Auburn’s Pulitzer and Tony-winning drama “Proof,” helmed by Polly Findlay. One further production on its spring slate currently remains under wraps.

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