The Colour Purple is one of those movies that every person of colour has to watch before they die. From our favourite line “All my life I had to fight…” to that razor blade scene that had us sitting on the edge of our seats, we can all agree that the film was one epic performance by the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover and Oprah Winfrey to name a few. So, you can imagine how excited I was when I heard that it was coming to South African theatres with performances by our very own talent like Aubrey Poo and Lerato Mvelase amongst the cohort of brilliant actors that brought us an emotional experience we’ll never forget.
The surprise of the night was the brilliant lead role of Celie played by Didintle Khunou. Man, what a voice! And I’m not only bragging because she’s from my alma mater Wits. From the minute the show started to the end they had us hooked with the perfect renditions that send us back to the rural south of America in a time when black lives – especially black female lives – really didn’t matter. They even had the southern accent so perfectly mastered that you were convinced that you had been transported through space and time. The fact that we had watched the original film meant nothing; it was a new experience going through the motions together with the cast on stage and we couldn’t help but be engrossed in the story all over again.
A friend noted how they omitted the razor blade scene but trust me when I say I didn’t miss it at all. I personally have never seen anything like it, one experience is not enough.
by Nhlamulo Ritshuri