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‘Get Up, Stand Up!’, a must-see for all music lovers

Bob Marley musical opens in London’s West End

Published:Saturday | November 13, 2021 | 12:07 AMGeorge Ruddock/Gleaner Writer
Sophia Mackay as Judy Mowatt (left), Gabrielle Brooks as Rita Marley (centre), Melissa Brown Taylor as Marcia Griffiths (right) are the I Threes in the West End musical, Get up, Stand Up!
Sophia Mackay as Judy Mowatt (left), Gabrielle Brooks as Rita Marley (centre), Melissa Brown Taylor as Marcia Griffiths (right) are the I Threes in the West End musical, Get up, Stand Up!
Jacade Simpson as Bunny Wailer(left) ArinzéKene as Bob Marley (centre), Natey Jones as Peter Tosh (right) in the West End musical, Get up, Stand Up!
Jacade Simpson as Bunny Wailer(left) ArinzéKene as Bob Marley (centre), Natey Jones as Peter Tosh (right) in the West End musical, Get up, Stand Up!
ArinzéKene as Bob Marley in the West End musical, Get up, Stand Up!
ArinzéKene as Bob Marley in the West End musical, Get up, Stand Up!
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LONDON:

Get Up, Stand Up!, the Bob Marley musical which opened in October at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftsbury Avenue in London’s West End for a limited run, has now extended its booking period until September 2022.

Hailed as a major cultural event, the landmark production about Bob Marley’s life will run nightly from Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., with matinee shows on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and an evening show on Sundays at 7:00 p.m.

Blending visionary musical talent and revolutionary zeal, Bob Marley set out to touch the world with his inspirational musical message and soul-stirring advocacy for the oppressed during Get Up, Stand Up!

The musical takes the audience from the hills of rural Jamaica, where Marley was born, to Trench Town in Kingston, where he joins up with Bunny Livingston and Peter Tosh to form The Wailers, a group which took reggae music, a unique Jamaican genre, international.

The storyline starts with Marley’s early childhood in St Ann, before his mother sends him off to Kingston to his cousins in Trench Town. After forming The Wailers with Bunny and Peter, the group tours England but soon breaks up over differences, and Marley continues with his own band The Wailers, along with the I Three, a group which includes his wife, Rita Marley.

NEW LOVE INTEREST

Back in Jamaica, Marley finds a new love interest in Cindy Breakspeare, who lives in the same complex in Hope Road where he resides, and the musical reveals some of the popular songs he wrote with her in mind, including Turn Your Lights Down Low.

The political turmoil of the 1970s between the Peoples National Party and Jamaica Labour Party erupts in bloody battles, and Marley is shot and injured in one of these incidents when his house is stormed by political gunmen. He is forced to flee Jamaica and continues his musical stardom overseas in the US, England and Africa.

The theme song Get Up, Stand Up! is written about the oppression of black people, which Marley sees in Africa.

He only returns to Jamaica when organisers of a peace concert invite him back to help quell the warring political factions. He does so by bringing PNP leader Michael Manley and JLP leader Edward Seaga together on stage at the National Stadium. The three men on stage, with Marley holding their hands together in the air, was an iconic symbol of the period.

The musical then takes the audience through the dark days of Marley’s battle with cancer, which was to put an end to his international career, but also gives him the opportunity to write some more great songs, including No Woman No Cry.

With unlimited access to Marley’s superlative songs of love and unity, the multi-award-winning team of Lee Hall (writer), Clint Dyer (director) and ArinzéKene (playing Bob Marley) embodies the militant spirit and moving story of one of music’s most significant cultural figures.

A sensational company of performers combine with the very best reggae musicians to bring this inspirational tale of passion, political transformation and enduring hope from Trench Town to London’s West End. It is a must-see for all lovers of reggae music and followers of the Bob Marley story.

Tickets are now on sale at www.getupstandupthemusical.com.