Following hot-on-the-heels of the musical’s 2016 Tony Award in New York for Best Musical Revival, comes the exciting news that award-winning South African director Janice Honeyman has signed on to helm an original production of The Color Purple in South Africa in 2018.
This gut-wrenching but beautiful human story triumphs and towers over hardship, abuse, discrimination and poverty. But it is clearly not all pity and pain – it has a robust vibrancy and a life-affirming resonance that thrills and excites my sense of musical theatre!
Executive Producer Bernard Jay is delighted that one of the country’s most respected and acclaimed theatre directors – recent musical theatre successes for Janice Honeyman have included The Boys in the Photograph, Starlight Express and Sister Act – will lead the all-South African creative team and cast of The Color Purple. Of her latest project, Honeyman says:
‘Alice Walker’s book is a series of intimate letters that, in my first reading of it many years ago, cried out to be brought to life onstage through performance. And now it has been turned into a musical – emotionally breath-taking, alive and profoundly moving. On my first hearing of the CD, I was touched to my soul. It strikes a chord which can be felt in a very deep and vulnerable heart-place in all women.
‘This gut-wrenching but beautiful human story triumphs and towers over hardship, abuse, discrimination and poverty. But it is clearly not all pity and pain – it has a robust vibrancy and a life-affirming resonance that thrills and excites my sense of musical theatre!
‘The characters and the music shift between sassy, soulful, lyrical, spiritual and jazzy – but at all times they show a passionate and heartfelt energy. In The Color Purple, there are wonderful opportunities for our truly talented acting and musical community to shine, and I can’t wait to embark on telling this multi-layered story to our sensitive and receptive theatre-going public.’
The Color Purple is presented by Joburg Theatre and Bernard Jay, in association with MNET, 702 and Boma Magazine and officially opens on the stage of The Mandela at Joburg Theatre on Sunday 4 February 2018. Tickets are available here.