The Color Purple would have returned to the Joburg Theatre for its ‘Bon Voyage Season’ in April 2020. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in South Africa, the season has been calcelled. With sold-out shows and standing ovations around the globe, this production is one you simply cannot miss. With an outstanding score and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray, this soul-stirring tale reaches deep into the hearts of audiences. So, prepare for an emotional journey like never before.
Based on the 1982 novel written by Alice Walker, the musical adaptation of The Color Purple brings to life the story of Celie – a woman who overcomes a lifetime of pain and adversity, with the help of some unforgettable female characters, including her long-lost sister Nettie, played by Sebe Leotlela. Nettie acts as Celie’s protector and mother to her children, showing them unconditional love and support throughout the play.
We sat down with Sebe Leotlela, to discuss her reprise of this role in the upcoming season of The Color Purple at Joburg Theatre:
“I’m thrilled to be reunited with The Color Purple family and stepping into Nettie’s shoes again,” says Leotlela. “Nettie is such a strong willed character who often acts as her sister’s protector. As a mother, I now fully understand what it’s like to bare a child and I couldn’t imagine having my daughter taken away from me. I will now approach my role with additional understanding and empathy towards Celie.”
Best Supporting Actor in a Musical nominee at the 2019 Naledi Theatre Awards, Leotlela has starred in a number of big budget musicals. Beginning her career at the Joburg Theatre in the musical Tine Turner: Simply the Best, she has gone on to tour internationally with productions of Dirty Dancing, The Sound of Music and Singing in the Rain. She describes performing to international audiences as “amazing”, saying that South African shows are very well received abroad.
Leotlela first stepped into the role of Nettie in the South African premier season of The Color Purple in February 2018 at Joburg Theatre, to critical acclaim. She will again take on the role of Nettie in April 2020.“Sebe is an actress with great presence and appeal. I loved working with her previously, and I’m thrilled to have her back in the company as Nettie,” says Honeyman.
Here’s Why You Should See The Color Purple!
The Color Purple sold out at its last appearance on the Joburg Theatre stage. Bringing audiences to their feet, tears spilling from their eyes, this musical has the power to move people’s hearts and change minds. It’s a true revelation of story and song.
“The Color Purple is a show that everyone can relate to. It tackles very important issues, which are all still very relevant to talk about to this day. Issues of sexism, rape, patriarchy. It also touches on themes of love, hope, faith and woman empowerment. I think it’s important to keep portraying strong women who know what they want and what they stand for in life. It is important to keep spreading the message of female empowerment. We need to change the perception of how women view themselves,” Leotlela says.
Joining Leotlela on stage in The Color Purple next year are acclaimed South African actors Didintle Khunou as Celie, Lelo Ramasimong as Shug Avery, Neo Motaung as Sofia, incoming stage star Thokozani Nzima as Mister and Yamikani Mahaka-Phiri as Harpo.
For More Information
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