South African production of “The Color Purple”

The Tony Award Winning Musical, “The Color Purple” is based on Alice Walker’s 1982 Pulitzer Prize winning novel and 1985 Warner Bros/Amblin Entertainment Motion Picture, directed by Steven Spielberg.

Originally produced by Oprah Winfrey in 2005 on Broadway, “The Color Purple” the musical set for its South African production and this time, it will be produced by Joburg Theatre and Bernard Jay(one of South Africa’s most prominent theater directors). The musical which will feature SA stars like Didintle Khunou (as Celie), Lerato Mvelase (as Shug Avery), Zane Gillion, Sebe Leotlela (as Nettie), Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri (as Harpo), Neo Motaung (as Sofia), Aubrey Poo (as Mister), Dolly Louw, Andile Magxaki, Venolia Manale, Namisa Mdlalose, Phumi Mncayi, and many more. It will open on February 4th, 2018 in The Mandela at Joburg Theatre.

Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema, Chief Executive Officer of Joburg City Theatres, 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.  She saw the original version on Broadway a few years ago and is looking forward to the revival production with an all-star SA cast.

The story “is an inspiring family saga that tells the unforgettable story of a woman who – through love – finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique 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”.

 “It addresses themes of sexism, racism, the disruption of traditional gender roles, women’s rights and sisterhood – themes with which South Africans live and 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.” – Bernard Jay

The producers are excited to collaborate with RADA- a nonprofit organization that serves as a renewal center in South Africa to combat a number of social vices. With this unique collaboration, the producers and RADA hope to use the musical as a call to action to bring to the fore challenges faced by women and other social vices in the society.

J-P Nobrega, founder of RADA, adds, “We are extremely proud to collaborate with the incredible cast and unbelievable team that breaths life to The Color Purple. In its simplest form, RADA aims to spread a message of love and empowerment. By the same token, The Color Purple epitomises this message and encompasses a story of incredible achievement through terrible adversity. The musical so brilliantly conveys how a person can reinvent themselves no matter life’s difficulties. It therefore makes perfect sense to combine forces and inspire a nation.”

South African’s “The Color Purple” the musical hopes to reach a large audience but might not be extremely suitable for children under ten years of age and Parental guidance is advised.

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