Soul at the Hackney Empire

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The London première of Soul comes to Hackney Empire

A dramatic thriller about one of the most influential musicians of our time, Soul is a new play about the family life of soul legend Marvin Gaye

Written by award-winning Roy Williams (Sucker Punch, Days of Significance) in close collaboration with members of Marvin Gaye’s family, this play with music is directed by James Dacre and features Hackney Empire’s celebrated community choirs.

Original instrumental music has additionally been composed and recorded for the production by Marvin Gaye’s close musical collaborator Gordon Banks, widely considered to be one of soul music’s great guitarists.

Soul runs from 16 June 2016 until 3 July 2016 at the Hackney Empire


On April Fool’s Day 1984, hours before his 45th birthday, Marvin Gaye was shot dead by his father in the shared family home they called the ‘Big House.’

What happened there – and whether it was murder or suicide – has been shrouded in mystery since.

Revealing what really happened during Marvin Gaye’s haunting final days and celebrating his extraordinary life, Soul is a parable about an American family prepared to do anything to promote and protect their children.

Not just the story of Marvin Gaye, but of many a musical icon whose family life has been crushed by the effects of their stardom – a searing portrait of the pitfalls of the American dream.


The cast features: Adjoa Andoh, Leo Wringer, Petra Letang, Mimi Ndiweni, Nathan Ives-Moira, Keenan Munn-Francis, Abiona Omonua.


Directed by James Dacre with set and costumes design by Jon Bausor, video design by Tal Rosner, lighting design by Mark Howland and sound design is by Fergus O’Hare.
Anna Morrissey is Movement Director, RC-Annieare Fight Directors. The Musical Director is Joseph Roberts (Rudy’s Rare Records, Birmingham Rep and Hackney Empire) and the production features the Hackney Empire Community Choir.


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