Arinzé Kene will star in the world premiere of Get Up, Stand Up!, a new musical based on the life of iconic musician Bob Marley.
Kene whose most recent one man play, Misty, ran at the Bush Theatre to widespread critical acclaim and transferred to the West End will play Bob Marley. His theatre credits include One Night in Miami (Donmar Warehouse), Girl From The North Country (Old Vic) and Death of A Salesman (Young Vic).
Arinzé Kene said: ‘I feel absolutely honoured to be able to take on this role. To get to be him for a little while is a lifelong dream come true. I grew up on his music and his mantra and he has been one of my role models since I was a child. I feel as if he’s in my DNA. He’s the man, I love him.’
Prior to his starring role in Get Up, Stand Up! Kene will take Misty across the Atlantic for a limited New York run, and will soon be seen in American-British comedy film How to Build a Girl and Julia Hart’s Amazon feature I’m Your Woman, due to come out later this year.
Written by Billy Elliot scribe Lee Hall, the musical is billed as the definitive new Bob Marley musical which takes direct inspiration from Marley’s visionary lyrics to tell his extraordinary story. The show is supported by Marley’s family and features songs from his back catalogue played live on stage.
Bob Marley’s daughter, Cedella Marley, said: ‘Our father’s music means so much to so many people around the world, we’re beyond thrilled to be able to bring it to both fans and new audiences alike in a new way.’
‘As a family we feel that our father would be proud to know that his legacy is a source of creative inspiration and continues to bring people together.’
The show will be directed by former Royal Court Artistic Director Dominic Cooke whose string of hits include Follies with Imelda Staunton and August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, both at the National Theatre; and, Clybourne Park, Jerusalem, Constellations and Posh at the Royal Court.
Cooke has a busy year ahead of him as he is due to reunite in August with Imelda Staunton in a major West End revival of Hello, Dolly! at the Adelphi Theatre and a new production of Good starring David Tennent at the Playhouse in October.
Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Story will begin performances at the Lyric Theatre in London’s West End on 6 February 2021, what would have been Marley’s 76th birthday. The show reopens the Lyric Theatre which will go dark in April to undergo extensive refurbishment.
Tickets will go on sale on 21 April 2020.
Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Story will run from 6 February 2021 at the Lyric Theatre, London.
UPDATE 18.02.2021: Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical will now begin performances at the Lyric Theatre on 1 October 2021 and is booking until 3 April 2022.