THE COLOR PURPLE RETURNS TO JOBURG THEATRE FOR ITS ‘BON VOYAGE’ SEASON
PRIOR TO TOURING EUROPE AND ASIA IN 2020
Joburg Theatre and producer Bernard Jay are proud to announce the ‘Bon Voyage’ Season of the musical The Color Purple, on the stage of The Mandela at Joburg Theatre prior to the all-South African company taking its acclaimed production on a tour of Europe and Asia.
“This is a very special occasion for us at Joburg Theatre and for the City of Joburg itself,” says CEO of Joburg City Theatres, Xoliswa Nduneni-Ngema. “The all-South African creative team and cast will be flying the flag for Joburg when they take this glorious production internationally in 2020. The requests from our patrons for a return season on The Mandela stage following the two sold-out seasons in 2018 have been so numerous that we are delighted to present this uplifting and empowering musical once again as a ‘bon voyage’ treat before it travels”.
The musical The Color Purple, based on the novel written by Alice Walker and the Warner Bros/Amblin Entertainment motion picture, has a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray.
Renowned, award-winning director Janice Honeyman has received high praise for her production since its South African premiere took place on The Nelson Mandela stage of Joburg Theatre on February 4th 2018. Jennifer Platt, writing in the Sunday Times, said of the production “You know you are watching transcending theatre when there is that kind of interaction ending with a ten-minute standing ovation” and leading arts journalist Diane de Beer wrote “The Color Purple is Bold, Black and Beautiful. As a musical, it is the perfect storm for right now. It’s musical heaven”.
The 2018 Color Purple season received 13 Naledi Award nominations. The Naledi Theatre Awards have been in existence for 15 years and are recognised as the Premier Awards Event on the Gauteng Theatre Calendar.
On Monday May 20th 2019, the Annual Naledi Theatre Awards took place and The Color Purple walked away with 7 awards including:
Best Musical Director to Rowan Bakker
Best Original Choreography to Oscar Buthelezi
Best Director of a Musical to Janice Honeyman
Best Supporting Performance in a Musical: Female to Lelo Ramasimong as Shug Avery
Best Supporting Performance in a Musical: Male to Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri as Harpo
Best Lead Performance in a Musical: Female to Didintle Khunou as Celie
Best Production of a Musical.
Performances for the ‘bon voyage season’ at Joburg Theatre will be from Thursday April 2nd to Sunday April 12th 2020. Tickets priced from R240 are already on sale at www.joburgtheatre.com or by calling 0861 670 670. Great student, senior citizen and group discounts are available for all performances.
Here is what the media had to say:
“I was completely blown away by how the audience reacted. Not just because the performances are breath-taking (which they are), but also because the subject matter hits so close to home. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at the end and you just got that sense that everyone in the audience was living in the story in that moment. Theatre was working its magic….As a musical, the show is spectacular. As a message, it’s absolutely crucial.”
Barry Morisse, Daily Maverick
“A triumphant production…The Color Purple has had Joburg audiences on their feet…Only the music of America’s deep south filled with jazz, ragtime and blues, could do justice to a storyline such as this and the score by Stephen Bray, Brenda Russell and Allee Willis summons the sorrows of Celie’s life with rich blues numbers and soaring gospel…A rollercoaster ride of emotions that ends on an uplifting high, this is one of Joburg’s most memorable theatre productions in years”
“If Bernard Jay had any doubts about his ambitious plan to stage The Color Purple in South Africa with an all-South African cast for a South African audience, they would have been wiped away by the rapturous response to the opening performance at Joburg Theatre on Sunday. From the opening scene the retelling of this classic story of the 1930s rural south in America had the audience under their spell”
Valerie Boje, The Pretoria News
“It is not often one gets to witness on stage something so remarkable and poignant that it leaves you feeling numb and speechless, yet at the same time empowered and overjoyed…this hugely ambitious offering has an almost spiritual voice. I laughed, I cried but most importantly I felt a wonderful togetherness with my fellow theatre goers who collectively experienced and witnessed something quite remarkable on stage”
David Simmons, Stage and Screen
“Incredibly natural and authentic…multi-layered entertainment value…An inspired production”
Bruce Dennill, pARTicipate
“There couldn’t have been a better time for the show to make its premiere in the country…The Color Purple is an absolute pleasure to experience”
Masego Panyane, The Star Tonight
“The Color Purple is Bold, Black and Beautiful…As a musical, it is the perfect storm for right now…hence the magical reaction and participation of the audience. There was no doubt about their appreciation of what they were encountering on stage…it’s musical heaven”
Diane de Beer, debeernecessities.com
“This vibrant musical had the capacity audience cheering for more…Brilliantly directed by Janice Honeyman…soaring songs that stir the soul…elevates the audience to an emotional high”
Peter Feldman, Artslink.co.za
“Quite simply, awesome…an emotional powerhouse…the audience erupted”
Jennifer de Klerk, Artslink.co.za
“The audience loved it, the standing ovation testament to the fact that they were thoroughly entertained…a major triumph…a magnificent cast…not to be missed…if there is any way you can go and see it, do so immediately”
Hendrik Baird, GaySARadio.co.za
“This was a life-changing and sweeping experience that will go down as one of the best and most thought-provoking of the past few years…brilliant and touching production…This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience…You will never forget it”
Leon van Nierop, Artslink.co.za
“Goosebumps abound…It’s a magnificent piece of work…it sings with one cohesive voice”
Lesley Stones, Dailey Maverick
Age restriction: No under 13