Arts and Culture

Joburg Theatre presents The Colour Purple

January 11, 2018, Author: Hello Joburg

The incredible South African première production of the Tony Award-Winning Musical, The Color Purple will be wowing audiences at The Mandela at Joburg Theatre from 31 January … and you do not want to miss it!

The musical will be produced by Joburg Theatre and Bernard Jay, and will have an all-star South African team. Chief Executive Officer of Joburg City Theatres, Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema is excited about the city’s foremost stage hosting and co-producing what is sure to be the major theatrical event in South Africa’s 2018 calendar.

The Color Purple is based upon the 1982 Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Alice Walker, and the 1985 Warner Bros / Amblin Entertainment Motion Picture, directed by Steven Spielberg. The musical The Color Purple, was originally produced on Broadway in 2005 by Oprah Winfrey, Scott Sanders, Roy Furman and Quincy Jones. The recent Broadway revival enjoyed great success by its major Tony Award wins earlier this year.

The book and musical arrangements from this Broadway production will be used in an otherwise new and original staging by director Janice Honeyman, at Joburg Theatre. This sensational show will showcase the talents of a dedicated and talented South African creative team, cast and band.

The Color Purple is not just the story of a poor, pregnant 14-year-old with nobody to talk to but her sister and God. It’s an inspiring family saga that tells the unforgettable tale of a woman who – through love – finds the strength to triumph over adversity, and discover her voice in the world. Set to a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel and blues, it’s a story of hope: a testament to the healing power of love and a celebration of life.

Executive producer of the South African production, Bernard Jay explained that the musical does not shy away from the brutal realities of its origin. “It addresses themes of sexism, racism, the disruption of traditional gender roles, women’s rights and sisterhood – themes with which South Africans liveand grapple on a day-to-day basis. The Color Purple, although a vitally important contribution to African American history, will be startlingly relevant to today’s theatre audiences in South Africa.”

You can expect to see Didintle Khunou in the role of Celie – a caring and gentle girl whose resilience is truly miraculous and ultimately a tribute to humankind. Lerato Mvelase will be playing the role of Shug Avery, the archetypal blues woman, with her earthy wisdom and singer lifestyle.

Didintle and Lerato join a talented all South African cast, which features the talents of Zane Gillion, Sebe Leotlela, Dolly Louw, Andile Magxaki, Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri, Venolia Manale, Namisa Mdlalose, Phumi Mncayi, Neo Motaung, Tshepo Ncokoane, Thokozani Nzima, Funeka Peppeta, Aubrey Poo, Senzesihle Radebe, Lelo Ramasimong, Zolani Shangase, Ayanda Sibisi and Lebo Toko.

RADA is a non-profit company that aims to take positive, meaningful and effective action to combat life’s atrocities, many of which are addressed in the play. Bernard Jay, executive producer of the local musical, thought it would be a good idea to collaborate with RADA to create awareness around the issues raised in the story of The Color Purple.“I want to inspire people beyond watching a story of the human spirit. By collaborating with RADA, we aim to create further awareness of these issues and atrocities against women, and hope to give people the courage to fight and overcome their own nightmares,” he explained.

The producers advise that this musical may not be suitable for children under ten years of age.

Need to know details:

Preview performances start from 31 January.

Official opening night will take place on 4 February, with the show running until 4 March.

Tickets start at R240.

For group bookings of 10 or more, please contact the theatre directly.

T: 011 877 6853/6815.


Words and Images Supplied. Some images are from international productions.

Hello Joburg was first published in April 1980 as a monthly restaurant and entertainment magazine. Over the years we have developed a network of patriotic Joburgers that love nothing more than sharing their experiences in this beautiful city!

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