BY BILLY SUTER
THE Naledi Award-winning star of the South African production of the acclaimed The Color Purple musical, Didintle Khunou, is to play nerdy Janet in the upcoming touring production of Richard O’Brien’s classic, The Rocky Horror Show.
Khunou, who is formally trained and has experience as a screen actor, theatre performer, voice actor and a session vocalist, played Celie in The Color Purple, a show based on the 11-times-Oscar-nominated Steven Spielberg film of the same name, which made Whoopi Goldberg a household name.
The Rocky Horror Show, to be presented by Pieter Toerien and Howard Panter, will be staged at Johannesburg’s Teatro theatre at Montecasino from January 17 until March 1, and at Cape Town’s Artscape Theatre from December 6 to January 12.
The show, directed by Christopher Luscombe, will star Craig Urbani as sweet transvestite Frank N Furter and Kate Normington – who excelled as the witch in the touring production of KickstArt’s Into the Woods – as Narrator.
Also among the cast are Jessica Sole (the baker’s wife in KickstArt’s Into the Woods), Anthony Downing, Marlee van der Merwe, Stefania du Toit, Zak Hendrikz, Jarryd Nurden, Usisipho Nteyi, Robin Timm and Sean Louw.
Although perhaps best known for her portrayal of one of the most coveted roles in musical theatre, Celie, in The Color Purple musical, directed by Janice Honeyman, Khunou is also of note for playing the lead in an adaptation of Yerma, a stage play written by Federico Garcia Lorca, directed Rajesh Gopie.
She has performed in Bertolt Brecht’s epic play, The Caucassian Chalk Circle, directed by Lebogang Motaung, and has made numerous television appearances. She currently plays Mapula in Mzansi Magic’s newest telenovela, The Throne.
Since it first opened in London in June 1973 at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show has become the world’s favourite rock ’n’ roll musical, having been performed for 45 years in more than 30 countries and translated into over 20 languages.
The Rocky Horror Show tells the story of Brad and his fiancée Janet, two squeaky-clean college kids who meet Dr Frank N Furter by chance when their car breaks down outside his house while their way to visit their favourite college professor.
It’s an adventure they’ll never forget, with fun, frolics, frocks and frivolity, bursting with timeless songs and outrageous outfits.
In 1975, the show was transformed into a film called The Rocky Horror Picture Show. starring Tim Curry, Meat Loaf and Susan Sarandon.