The uber talented Tony Award winner and star of Broadway's "The Color Purple", Cynthia Erivo, is to join Viola Davis in a brand new big-screen version of the popular Lynda La Plante series Widows, which was a hit on ITV in 1983. It is set to be directed by Oscar-winning film-maker Steve McQueen, whose 12 Years A Slave won the best picture Academy and BAFTA awards. He will also write the screenplay with "Gone Girl" author, Gillian Flynn.
It is about the wives of a bunch of gangsters who, after their four husbands are killed in a car crash during a failed robbery attempt subsequently join forces to carry out the heist they had been planning. Erivo will play Belle: a widowed mother-of-two who works as a dental technician.
Erivo leaves the Color Purple on 8th January (when it closes) and after a short break starts work on Widows in Chicago.
She said she thought McQueen’s offer was a gag. ‘I said I’d love to play the role — fantastic! But can he (McQueen) see the show, so I know that it’s not, like, a joke! To be offered a role, without having to read for it, is just crazy! And awesome.’
Cynthia Erivo is a multiple award-winning actress who has starred on West End and Broadway stages. She made her Broadway debut reprising her starring role as 'Celie' in the revival of The Color Purple which she first played in 2013 at London's Menier Chocolate Factory. She played 'Puck' in the Liverpool Everyman production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Nick Bagnall and in 2014, returned to her classical roots in the Donmar Warehouse's all-female production of Henry IV directed by Phyllida Lloyd. In that same year she played the lead in Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty musical Dessa Rose at Trafalgar Studios.
Other theatre credits include the Perfect Pitch musical, Lift, Kneehigh Theatre's production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg at the Gielgud Theatre;'Deloris Van Cartier' in the UK tour of Jerry Zaks' production of Sister Act; I Can't Sing, Harry Hill and Simon Cowell's musical, at the London Palladium. Erivo is also an accomplished songwriter, having written the song, "Fly Before You Fall," for the 2014 feature film Beyond the Lights. In March 2015, she made her solo concert debut with the show entitled "Hear My Soul" at Kings Place in London.