Joburg Theatre announces the leading actresses for the award-winning musical, The Color Purple

The Joburg Theatre in partnership with M-Net and 702 announced that they would be putting on a performance of The Color Purple, a classic, award-winning musical.

The musical will run from 4 February to 4 March next year

The producer of the musical Bernard Jay, announced the names of the two actresses who would be performing the coveted roles of Shug Avery and Celie, the two leading roles of the musical.

The musical is about a pregnant 14-year-old girl, Celie, who goes through immense struggles in her life but eventually learns to overcome everything with the help of a jazz singer named Shug Avery.

Jay, along with director Janice Honeyman and musical director Rowan Bakker auditioned more than 250 people for the leading roles. The auditions took place in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria and the team eventually decided upon Didintle Khunou (Celie) and Molebatsi Lekgetha (Shug Avery).

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The musical, which was originally a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, has been turned into a movie as well as a Broadway musical and has become highly acclaimed.

“When I first heard about the open auditions, I didn’t go because I was working on a TV series at the time and I thought that it would just be impossible to link the schedules,” said Khunou. “Then I realised a few months later that they haven’t found their lead actors and a friend of mine said this is a sign.”

The play, which is set in the United States, brings to light topics which are very much ingrained in South Africa such as racism and sexism.

“It’s a very inspiring musical and it takes you on an emotional roller coaster,” said Jay.

Lekgetha said, “I’m so excited about this challenge. As a performer, I always want to grow and do something that’s more demanding, that’s pushing you and this is definitely it.”

What do you think of a South African version of the highly acclaimed musical, The Color Purple? Let us know on WhatsApp 079 439 5345

Laura Pisanello

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