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Sharon D. Clarke

Caroline, Or Change

Book and lyrics by Tony Kushner
Music by Jeanine Tesori

Minerva Theatre



Sunday Times

Moving and magical

Mail on Sunday


Daily Telegraph

Profound and powerful

Evening Standard

Complex, joyful, exuberant

The Stage

Soul baring excellence

The Guardian
Financial Times
The Times
i newspaper

1963. Lake Charles, Louisiana. Caroline Thibodeaux is an African American maid earning thirty dollars a week working for the Jewish Gellman family. She is a single parent and the mother of four children.

Eight-year-old Noah Gellman visits Caroline in the basement as she works, washing and ironing. But when the boy begins leaving loose change in his laundry, his stepmother Rose devises a deterrent with revealing and far-reaching consequences.

This Olivier Award-winning musical mixes blues, soul, Motown, classical music and Jewish folk songs to create a beautiful, uplifting and deeply moving portrait of America at a time of momentous social upheaval spurred by the civil rights movement. The Broadway production was re-staged at the National Theatre in 2006; this will be the first new UK production.

Author of the ground-breaking Angels in America, Tony Kushner’s book and lyrics were partly inspired by his own boyhood. The score is by Jeanine Tesori, whose musical Fun Home won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Original Score.

Michael Longhurst, who recently directed an acclaimed revival of Amadeus at the National Theatre, directs Sharon D. Clarke in the title role. Equally renowned as a singer and actor, her Olivier Award-winning stage and screen work encompasses Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Amen Corner at the National Theatre, Ghost the Musical and We Will Rock You in the West End, and Holby City on TV.


Festival 2017 pricing information

Performed by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited

Prologue Members Early Bird
booking from 4 March


Beautifully staged and impeccably performed, this is an exceptional show.

Daily Telegraph

A profound and powerful evening.

Evening Standard

Sharon D. Clarke gives a virtuoso performance as Caroline: her voice, truly, is divine.

The Times

Complex yet big-hearted, joyfully exuberant but sharply political, it’s owned by Michael Longhurst’s brilliant multi-generational, multi-cultural cast, and elevated by a genius dash of oddball camp from designer Fly Davis.

The Stage

Rich, fresh, vibrant, it is also challenging, sparky and moving in equal measure, directed with panache by Michael Longhurst and delivered by a cast firing on all cylinders.

Chichester Observer

Tesori's abundant score embraces everything from Tamla Motown trios to classical clarinet solos and a climactic, soul- baring number for Caroline. That last is beautifully delivered by the incomparable Sharon D. Clarke who, even in her silences, conveys the implacable, obdurate and deeply pious nature of the exploited maid. Abiona Omonua as her angry daughter, Charlie Gallacher as the lonely Noah, Lauren Ward as his casually patronising stepmother and Teddy Kempner as a bluff Marxist oldster are all excellent.

The Guardian

Cast & Creatives


Creative team

Michael Longhurst


Fly Davis


Ann Yee


Nigel Lilley

Musical Director

Jack Knowles

Lighting Designer

Paul Arditti

Sound Designer

Charlotte Sutton CDG

Casting Director

Hazel Holder

Dialect Coach

Rachael Nanyonjo

Assistant Director


Running Time
2 hours and 35 minutes including the interval