'The Harder They Come', the reggae musical based on the 1972 Perry Henzell film that launched Jimmy Cliff onto the world stage, will open at the Playhouse Theatre on Monday 9 June with preview performances commencing on 23 May. 'The Harder They Come' has enjoyed sell-out seasons at the Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Barbican Centre, which both received rave reviews.
The reggae musical tells the story of a country boy who makes for the bright lights of Kingston, Jamaica. With a head full of songs, including 'You Can Get It If You Really Want', 'Many Rivers to Cross', 'Higher and Higher', 'Rivers of Babylon' and 'The Harder They Come', he dreams of becoming a reggae star. When the harsh reality of the music scene drives him into a fast and furious life as an outlaw, he would rather die than kill his dream.
The Harder They Come stars Rolan Bell as ‘Ivan’. Also in the cast are Jacqui Dubois, Derek Elroy, Victor Romero Evans, Joanna Francis, Matthew J Henry, Marlon King, Susan Lawson-Reynolds, Joy Mack, Marcus Powell, Joe Speare and Chris Tummings.
'The Harder They Come', which is written by Perry Henzell, is directed by Kerry Michael and Dawn Reid. With design by Ultz and lighting by Jo Joelson and sound by Stefan Lumsden, the choreography is by Jackie Guy and the musical supervision by Geraldine Connor. The band includes Darren Benjamin, Peter-Lee, Perry Melius, Wayne Nunes and Alan Weekes.
The Theatre Royal Stratford East and UK Arts Production of 'The Harder They Come', which played earlier this year at The Barbican, is produced at the Playhouse Theatre by Jan Ryan and Robert Fox in association with Michael White.
About the Playhouse Theatre
The Royal Avenue Theatre originally opened in 1882 with a revival of Offenbach's Madam Favart.
In March 2003, the Ambassador Theatre Group took over the stewardship of the Playhouse Theatre and is responsible for the theatre's management and programming, working with Maidstone Productions at the theatre.
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