The Color Purple / Directed by Janice Honeyman / Mandela, Joburg Theatre, Braamfontein, Johannesburg 8.5
The Color Purple is, on paper, hardly the stuff of a fun night out. It’s packed with prejudice, abuse and violence (physical, psychological and emotional) and focuses on the lives of a group of poor rural Southern folks. They’re struggling with the racism that was so prevalent in Georgia (where the action is set) in the first half of the 20th Century – not that it’s necessarily gone now – as well as the sexism and all the associated self-image issues that came with the patriarchal nature of their own culture.
But the nature of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning tale, unfurled end to end, is that it reveals the beauty in the heart-rending struggle and the strength behind the tragic pain. And the writers of the musical, along with this production’s crack South African team, make getting to the end of that journey via…
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