The Bob Marley musical “Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical,” which was originally scheduled to have its world premiere on the anniversary of Marley’s 76th birthday on February 6, 2021, will now debut at the newly renovated Lyric Theater in London in May of 2021. The musical dramatizes the life and career of the legendary reggae musician from his early years in Jamaica to a career and life spanning music, faith, and politics. The musical pays tribute to Marley’s resolute belief in liberation and love that is celebrated by fans across the globe. It features exclusive access to Marley’s back catalog of music, including “Three Little Birds,” “Redemption Song,” “No Woman No Cry,” and “Exodus.”
While Marley’s name is synonymous with the worldwide reggae movement, and while many people around the world recognize his songs, fewer know the story of his life on and off stage, from the assassination attempts to his Number 1 recordings, to his role as a leading figure of Rastafaranism and the way he continues to serve as an inspiration to others even after his death in 1981.
Arinzé Kene, an Olivier Award-nominated actor and playwright, will play the role of Bob Marley following his critical success in his one-man show “Misty” at the Bush Theater and Trafalgar Studios. His acting credits also include “Death of a Salesman” at the Young Vic where he starred wiith Wendell Pierce and Sharon D. Clarke. Commenting on the role, the actor said, “It is Time. For. Bob. I am honoured and blessed to be taking on this role. Nothing feels more right, more hopeful than to be stepping into his shoes. I plan to immerse myself in his healing vibes and I hope very much we will be able to do justice to the great man.”
The book for the musical is by Lee Hall, who wrote the hit “Billy Elliott” and is directed by Clint Dyer, who previously directed “Death of England.” “Get Up, Stand Up!” is produced by Playful Productions, Stage Play and Cedella Marley and was workshopped in London in 2019. While it was scheduled to open in February of 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic’s restrictions have caused a postponement until May of that year.
Speaking about the upcoming musical, Marley’s daughter Cedella said, “Our father’s music has for so long been an inspiration to so many people. We are proud that audiences will be able to sit in his company for a little while and, we hope, feel better about themselves, and the world. The wonderful team bringing this story to the stage will create a special evening in honour of our father.”
The show is currently booking from Friday, May 28, 2021, to Sunday, December 19, 2021. Press night is scheduled for June 16, 2021.