Theatre '21

dUb

THIS CITY IS MINE
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
35,842
Let's be optimistic SHALL WE

Just reading about this lawsuit where an actress booked to play the lead role of Celie in The Color Purple made homophobic remarks on social media (which she stands by) and was then removed from the production. Now suing the theatre and various others, claiming she didn't know that her character would be a lesbian/wouldn't have taken the part if she had known/never read the script, etc. All a bit mad really - and certainly interesting from a legal point of view

=============================

An actress who was dropped from a play for posting alleged homophobic remarks online had not realised the character she was due to portray was a lesbian, an employment tribunal has heard.

Seyi Omooba was due to play the lead character, Celie, in The Color Purple at Leicester's Curve Theatre in 2019.

Ms Omooba, who is Christian, would have refused the role if she'd known the character was gay, the tribunal heard.

However, her lawyers argued that Celie's sexuality was ambiguous.

Ms Omooba, from east London, was originally dismissed over comments she posted to Facebook in 2014.

The 26-year-old said she did "not believe you can be born gay" and that homosexuality was wrong even "though the law of this land has made it legal".

At the time the show's producers wrote in a statement: "Following careful reflection it has been decided that Seyi will no longer be involved with the production."

Ms Omooba is suing the Leicester Theatre Trust and her agents Michael Garrett Associates Ltd (Global Artists) for around £128,000 over her sacking, on the grounds of religious discrimination and a breach of contract.

A separate tribunal against the musical's co-producers, The Birmingham Hippodrome, was dropped last year, after Ms Omooba accepted they "only played a minor role" in her dismissal.

'Best known interpretation'

The Color Purple is based on Alice Walker's Pulitzer prize-winning 1982 novel of the same name. It tells the tale of Celie, a poor, young, abused African-American women in the southern United States in the 1930s.

As the story progresses, she develops a close and sexual relationship with a female blues and jazz singer, named Shug Avery.

Ms Omooba's representative, Pavel Stroilov, said "the best known interpretation" of the character is to be found in Steven Spielberg's later film version.

On Monday, the Central London Employment Tribunal heard how Ms Omooba had previously told her agents she would not play a gay role; and that in the production in question she was "never asked explicitly to play this character as a lesbian".

"In the film the lesbian theme is not present at all, there is one kiss between the female characters which can be interpreted in all sorts of ways," said Mr Stroilov.

"It is in no way obvious and was never made clear to claimant that she was expected to play a lesbian character."

He added: "It's, with respect, absurd to suggest it's for an employee, an actor, to go and inquire with an employer whether or not they interpret this play differently from Steven Spielberg."

'Resign or be dismissed'

Representing the Leicester Theatre Trust, Tom Coghlin QC noted: "The musical is not the film, they are different works with a common source, which is the novel."

He suggested Ms Omooba "didn't check" with the director as to whether Celie would be interpreted "in the usually understood way, which was as a gay character".

Mr Coghlin added that the actor's stance constituted a "repudiatory breach of contract" and that her dismissal was therefore not "unwanted conduct".

"The role that she complains about being dismissed from is one that she would have refused to play in any event," he suggested.

"Her choice was to resign or be dismissed and she chose to be dismissed."

Ms Omooba is being represented by the legal arm of Christian Concern, an organisation co-founded by her father, pastor Ade Omooba MBE.

The group said the case "will expose the mechanisms of censorship at the heart of the theatre industry", adding that "any dissenting views against LGBT ideology, especially Christian beliefs, are currently incompatible with a theatrical career".

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-55885720
 

dUb

THIS CITY IS MINE
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
35,842
Also I recently watched one of those virtual readings of a play ('Beirut' with Marisa Tomei & Oscar Isaac) which was interesting. It's such a new way to see the performers and was still very engaging even if over a shoddy Zoom connection

Highlights:

 

Ellie

Super talented triple threat
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
49,800
Location
From Despair To Where
She didn’t know Celie was a lesbian? I mean at least watch the film version before taking the role! :D

Surely her lawsuit should be dismissed based on her own ignorance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dUb

dUb

THIS CITY IS MINE
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
35,842
She didn’t know Celie was a lesbian? I mean at least watch the film version before taking the role! :D

Surely her lawsuit should be dismissed based on her own ignorance.
I KNOW RIGHT. Apparently it's ambiguous to some degree in the film though?? I haven't seen it
 

Ellie

Super talented triple threat
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
49,800
Location
From Despair To Where
I KNOW RIGHT. Apparently it's ambiguous to some degree in the film though?? I haven't seen it
It’s really not ambiguous at all :D

Just looked up this actress with her stage credits and she was in Spring Awakening. Surely some of that would go against her “Christian values” too.
 

dUb

THIS CITY IS MINE
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
35,842
She was in a concert version of The Color Purple, not playing the same character, and said she wasn't onstage when there was a kiss between the two women. When it was pointed out to her that in fact she was, she claimed she "wasn't always looking" at what was happening o_O O_o o.O O.o
 

Gangsta Nancy Lam

Slut's Spaghetti
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
13,078
Location
Hell
At least read the FUCKING SCRIPT.

I also don't understand why she's suing for unfair dismissal while also saying she wouldn't want to play the role anyway? Probably just trying to get some promo for daddy's 'charity'.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dUb

Phoenix

I am not a liar ;)
Joined
Apr 9, 2005
Messages
28,602
Our theatre season is currently scheduled for September. I’m hoping it actually goes through, some decent shows scheduled (and Juliet, Oklahoma and Murder on the Orient Express).
 
  • Like
Reactions: dUb

jivafox

soberish
Joined
Apr 25, 2007
Messages
22,939
Location
Twin Peaks
The Old Vic have recently been hassling me to buy back my tickets to 4000 Miles starring Timothée Chalamet so I’m hoping that’s a good sign and not just that they have some wages to pay.
 

dUb

THIS CITY IS MINE
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
35,842
The Hammersmith run of Sister Act that was meant to happen this summer with Whoopi Goldberg has been pushed back to next year - WITHOUT Whoopi :square:

Wonder how many of those tickets will be RETAINED
 

Ellie

Super talented triple threat
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
49,800
Location
From Despair To Where
The price for those tickets was extortionate for a musical at a venue as big as Hammersmith Apollo. Without Whoopi it makes no sense to be performed there. I wouldn’t be surprised if they relocated it to the Palladium again.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dUb

dUb

THIS CITY IS MINE
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
35,842
I wonder if someone on Beverley Knight's level could manage to keep it viable... shame they hadn't got anyone to announce along with this
 

Beryl

Boy stop, step awaaaaay.
Joined
Sep 1, 2005
Messages
5,092
Yeah I got the email for my tickets and I am a bit torn on whether to request a refund.

I wouldn’t have travelled to London to see the show and the associated costs of doing so without Whoopi, I can see it at a more local theatre without that draw... even if it’s a touring production.
 

dUb

THIS CITY IS MINE
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
35,842
lol oh well

Seyi Omooba's claims against Curve Leicester rejected by employment tribunal

Curve Theatre, Leicester have had the case brought against them by actor Seyi Omooba unanimously rejected. Omooba was suing them and her former management agency Global Artists for religious discrimination, harassment alongside breach of contract.

After a week-long hearing at the Central London Employment Tribunal, Omooba who is Christian was claiming £71,400 in compensation. In 2019 she was removed from Curve's production of the musical The Color Purple after historic anti-gay comments she made on Facebook were shared widely online.

https://www.whatsonstage.com/leices...1vmH62DlpBo_TS1pzA7sI_9lLocblM7eN0BUrvsyF69dc
 

cwej

User
Joined
Feb 4, 2004
Messages
48,678
I have had tickets for Six ready to go and see for 2 separate dates already... as soon as we can,I'll be there for a 3rd date before it goes. Fingers crossed.
 

Gangsta Nancy Lam

Slut's Spaghetti
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
13,078
Location
Hell
I have had tickets for Six ready to go and see for 2 separate dates already... as soon as we can,I'll be there for a 3rd date before it goes. Fingers crossed.

SIX is so good. I had poor Catherine Howard's song stuck in my head for WEEKS.
 

dUb

THIS CITY IS MINE
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
35,842
The Book of Mormon doing the decent thing... (from my one annual click onto the D*ily M*il)

Book of Mormon creators are to stage a rethink after black cast members wrote letter expressing concerns

The creators of blockbuster musical The Book Of Mormon have agreed to go over the show with key actors to discuss points of unease — and possibly make adjustments — after black cast members wrote a private letter expressing concerns.

Twenty actors from the original and current Broadway cast signed their names to the letter, sent in the wake of protests over the killing of George Floyd, to the show's devisers, including Matt Stone and Trey Parker (the brains behind South Park) and Robert Lopez (who co-wrote the songs for Frozen and Avenue Q).

They said America was being forced to evaluate 'the systemic racism and racial inequality' in every industry — and theatre was no exception.

The Mormon creatives told me that after reading the letter and consulting producers Anne Garefino, Scott Rudin and Sonia Friedman, they decided to invite principal actors from New York, London and other productions around the world, as well as some original cast members, to attend a workshop in New York.

The creators of blockbuster musical The Book Of Mormon have agreed to go over the show with key actors to discuss points of unease — and possibly make adjustments — after black cast members wrote a private letter expressing concerns

The aim would be to go through the show, line by line and thrash out any problematic issues. (They're now figuring out when and how to fly the widely scattered artists in to NYC safely.)

Any changes would impact on the West End first, as Friedman said the show will probably re-open in London (at the Prince of Wales) before New York.

Even prior to the Black Lives Matter protests, there had been rumblings — from outside the Mormon camp — about whether the musical, which tells of two shiny-faced Latter-Day Saints on a mission to evangelise a northern Ugandan village in thrall to a brutal warlord, was racist.

Some suggested it should not return to Broadway until it was made more politically correct.

Well, that won't be happening. Lopez insisted no wokeness would be added to the phenomenally successful formula, which has sold in excess of £1 billion worth of tickets globally.

'What's great about Matt and Trey is they'd rather close the show than make it feel PC and not funny,' he declared, before quickly adding: 'No one wants to close. We want to make it better.'

During a separate Zoom call, Stone — sporting a bushy beard and wild hair that he joked made him look 'like Tom Hanks in Castaway' — told me: 'I can't imagine trying to make a politically correct Book Of Mormon.'

The musical is outrageous by design, targeting what Lopez called the 'absurdity' of the Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints and its founder, Joseph Smith, who wrote the actual Book of Mormon in the early 1800s. (When I asked Stone if The Book Of Mormon was racist, he said: 'Yes. But our musical is not.')

Stone, Parker and Lopez spent seven years sharpening their lacerating gags. 'We wrote it for a snooty liberal New York crowd who are going to laugh at those Mormons,' Stone said.

Nikki M. James, who created the role of Nabulungi, the touchingly naive teenage Ugandan villager, was involved in the development process, too; long before the show opened on Broadway ten years ago. James, who won a Tony award for her performance, recalled the experience. President Obama was in the White House, and 'rightly or wrongly, Trey, Matt and Bobby were not as concerned with the concept of race' as they were about the concept of Mormons and missionaries.

James recalls a 'roomful of black Americans saying things like 'F*** you, God!' ' (during work on scenes where the villagers berate the Lord for apparently abandoning them to the joint ravages of disease and General Butt F***ing Naked). She said: 'We were gauging our level of comfort — some people were uncomfortable.' Some so much so that they chose not to continue with the project.

The creatives, she felt, had not fully understood what 'it meant for black artists to do what they were doing': uttering blasphemous curses, or joking about someone scratching their scrotum because it's full of maggots.

On a personal level, she was concerned that audiences should see Nabulungi as an innocent, with dignity and heart — and not a stupid African girl.

Arbender J. Robinson, an acting teacher and member of the current Broadway ensemble, told me the original cast had the benefit of Stone, Parker and Lopez being present during rehearsals, to explain the nuances of every line and joke. But Robinson said 'things seemed to get cloudy' as the run, and the years, rolled on.

Now, he worried audiences were leaving the theatre 'laughing at the Ugandans'.

Both Robinson and James believe each successive company became a bit more distanced from the core concepts that underpinned the show and gave it its strength and humour.

They said current casts needed the same level of directorial guidance. 'We can't expect our audience to fully understand it, if all of us aren't completely on the same page of understanding as well,' Robinson said.

James likened the process to performing Shakespeare for a contemporary audience. 'How do we find what's true today?' She smiled and said that 'there's an opportunity for incredible dramaturgy there'.

The two actors also told me that they were grateful for how The Book Of Mormon team reacted to the letter. Other shows in London and on Broadway have received similar entreaties from actors but, from what I understand, their concerns have been dismissed.

Speaking to me from NYC, where his wife was nursing their third child, born just a few weeks ago, Stone said he had mixed emotions when he first read the cast's letter.

'You know, it's hard to have people that you love and respect tell you that you have fallen short,' he said.

He said that, inadvertently, the creative team may have allowed 'a blind spot' to develop, when it came to black actors delivering incendiary dialogue (their 'high-wire act', he called it).

'First of all, once we'd digested the letter, we said we're sorry — and that it's s***ty what they went through,' Stone said. 'Before we get back on stage, we're going to have another workshop.' One with himself, Parker, Lopez — and Casey Nicholaw, Mormon's co-director (with Parker) and choreographer. Plus 'members of the original cast, and lead actors, black and white, from the touring and international productions'.

Remedies could include 'some tweaks to certain lines of dialogue, so things are more insulated against misreadings'.

'No one is going back on stage until they feel great about it,' Stone insisted.

He also hinted he wanted to capture the stage show on film — to ensure 'a definitive record of intentions and context'.

Lopez, meanwhile, said he was looking forward to the workshops, and getting everybody into a room together. 'It's a chance to get creative again!' he said. 'Matt and Trey are so funny. They're filthy — but great people. That's the secret.'
 

Gangsta Nancy Lam

Slut's Spaghetti
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
13,078
Location
Hell
I always think its a shame theatre often treats the script as something to freeze, unblinking in aspic, like a fish in a 70s cookbook, so that's good.

It could definitely do with an update.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dUb

dUb

THIS CITY IS MINE
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
35,842
Dear Evan Hansen rumoured to not be reopening post-COVID which would be really rather :shock:
 

Ellie

Super talented triple threat
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
49,800
Location
From Despair To Where
Dear Evan Hansen rumoured to not be reopening post-COVID which would be really rather :shock:
That’s a bit shocking. I don’t think it had quite taken off in that same way it did on Broadway, but it hadn’t been open for that long.

Just got notice of my Back To The Future reschedule. Really great as they’ve transferred to the same seats in the same night of the week, just September now instead of June.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dUb

dUb

THIS CITY IS MINE
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
35,842
Broadway re-opens Sept 14th!

Can't wait for the first Defying Gravity bootleg :disco:
 

dUb

THIS CITY IS MINE
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
35,842
The Harry Potter play is being 're-thought' before returning to Broadway, with some speculation that it might be made into a one-parter

Anyone here seen it? Good idea?
 

Tisch

Pauline Quirke has passed away...
Joined
Jun 11, 2010
Messages
29,595
Location
South Sandwich Islands
The Harry Potter play is being 're-thought' before returning to Broadway, with some speculation that it might be made into a one-parter

Anyone here seen it? Good idea?
Definitely. It was very good and the effects are some of the best I've ever seen but it absolutely doesn't need to be that long.

Of course I wouldn't see it NOW anyway on account of JK being a Shitcunt.
 

dUb

THIS CITY IS MINE
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
35,842
I can't wait to see how that turns out :disco:
 

dmlaw

Democracy doesn't work
Joined
Aug 24, 2009
Messages
17,019
I look forward to Lloyd-Webber being approached by five or six burly lifers in the prison yard who explain to him how disappointed they were with 'Love Never Dies'.
 

Madison

Everything goes up by six
Joined
Dec 8, 2005
Messages
63,237
Location
ex-European Union
Feels like a publicity stunt. I’d never heard of his Cinderella before today, but I’ve read all about it now.
 

lolly

Rowena? From Kuwait?
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
158,653
Were we talking about online theatre in the annual thread last year? Only I noticed a couple of days ago 'Great British Theatre' from The National on Prime. They have Phoebe Waller-Bridge's one woman Fleabag, Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet, Frankenstein with both Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller as the creature, and Ian McKellen on stage.
 

dUb

THIS CITY IS MINE
Joined
May 2, 2004
Messages
35,842
Rolling Stone did a piece on the legendary, iconically crap Legally Blonde video. Some of them need to lighten the f up o_O O_o o.O O.o




I'd forgotten how great the SNL sketch based on it was too
 

Ellie

Super talented triple threat
Joined
Feb 3, 2004
Messages
49,800
Location
From Despair To Where
Rolling Stone did a piece on the legendary, iconically crap Legally Blonde video. Some of them need to lighten the f up o_O O_o o.O O.o




I'd forgotten how great the SNL sketch based on it was too

OMG (you guys), I had never seen this or the SNL skit before :D
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom