Joburg Theatre has yet again proven why it is the choice theatre for South Africans. The musical theatre production of The Color Purple began its run from the seventh of August to the second of September. The famed book written in 1982 was brought to life by Steven Spielberg who cast Whoopi Goldberg as Celie and Oprah as the fiesty Sophia in the film of the same title.
Being on film is far more forgiving to artists than being on stage .The August/September 2018 run of The Color Purple was an emotional rollercoaster that had the audience spellbound. As I kept my gaze on each character, I witnessed each and every actor and actress bring their character to life with an endless amount of energy. The music and vocals were in perfect harmony, intertwined like a strand of DNA. Kudos to the team that handled the background music.
As for the cast I have to begin with the incredibly talented vocals served to us by Didintle Khunou who played the role of Celie, Lelo Ramasimong as Shug Avery and Neo Motaung as Sofia.
The ensemble cast had an energy so palpable that you would think that we were attending the opening night or that the performance was matter of life and death. The Color Purple radiated in every aspect, the humor, the musical numbers, the directing and costume design made this run of The Color Purple an unforgettable experience. The audience was captivated and sometimes we were all overtaken by emotion. One of the main reasons why the audience felt emotional is that The Color Purple reminds us of the hardships we all go through, especially women, which makes The Color Purple as current today as it was back in 1982. Personally, the musical arrangements and the world class acting made me forget the fact that it was fictional. This is truly a beautiful story between the strong bond between two women and the way it has been portrayed through the eyes of Janice Honeyman and Bernard Jay made this specific production my all time favorite production ever. The performance of “I’m Here” had me in tears.
Like the unbreakable bond between Celie and Nettie, Bernard Jay and Janice Honeyman shaped this production with a kind of magic which is hard to find.
A well oiled ensemble cast which comprises of the following members:
Didintle Khunou (as Celie),
Aubrey Poo (as Mister),
Lelo Ramasimong (as Shug Avery),
Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri (as Harpo),
Neo Motaung (as Sofia),
Sebe Leotlela (as Nettie),
Masego Mothibakgomo (as Darlene – Church Lady),
Dolly Louw (as Jarene – Church Lady),
Ayanda Sibisi (as Doris – Church Lady),
Thokozani Nzima (as Pa),
Funeka Peppeta (as Squeak),
Senzesihle Radebe (as Olivia / Church Soloist),
Zolani Shangase (as Buster / Adam),
Terrence Ngwila (as Grady),
Lebo Toko (as Bobby),
Phumi Mncayi (as the Preacher / ‘Ol Mister),
Andile Magxaki (as the Guard),
Lebo Borole (as Female Cover 1),
Namisa Mdlalose (as Female Cover 2),
and Tshepo Ncokoane (as Male Cover)
A special thank you to Joburg Theatre, Bernard Jay, Janice Honeyman (who can do no wrong in my opinion), Bona Magazine, 702, Mnet, BsharpEntertainment and rada.
The Color Purple production took its final bow on the 2nd of September at Joburg Theatre.
Pictures courtesy of : @enroCpics
Story : AK Ahmed (SA Music News & Entertainment)