Clint Dyer will replace Dominic Cooke as the director of Get Up, Stand Up!, a new Bob Marley musical set to premiere in London’s West End next February.
The former Royal Court artistic director whose hits include Clybourne Park and most recently Follies at the National Theatre, has withdrawn from the project following recent discussions about race in the theatre industry.
Cooke said: “In recent weeks the conversation about race has changed in theatre, as it has across society. With that in mind, and after much reflection, I have decided to step aside from my role to make way for Clint Dyer to lead the project.
“Clint is a brilliant theatre-maker and an inspiring leader. I can’t wait to see what he brings to this powerful story. I have offered to support him in whatever way I can.”
In a statement Dyer said: “Having had the pleasure and education of working for Dominic as a writer/director at the Royal Court and with him at the National Theatre as an actor spanning decades, he has always been a man of great integrity, sensitivity and of course immense talent. So, in many regards it is of no surprise, that while having actually earned his ‘stripes’ as it were, he would still show such respect, dignity and heart. I have great admiration for his decision, and I am incredibly honoured to be offered the opportunity to take on the role of director.
“As a British-Jamaican I have been a Marleyite since I could hear, so understand the great honour this actually is. I hope we can take forward the amazing work that Lee and Dominic have done so far and bring this story to life in a conscious, uplifting and joyous way. Bob has been an inspiration to millions and right now we need his unifying voice and ideas, to guide and inspire us towards redemption and true hope for the future.”
Dyer’s credits include The Big Life at Theatre Royal Stratford East and Death of England (with Roy Williams) at the National Theatre.
Written by Billy Elliot scribe Lee Hall, Get Up, Stand Up! tells the story of Bob Marley’s life using songs from his extensive back catalogue. As previously reported, Arinzé Kene (Misty, One Night in Miami, Girl From The North Country) has been cast in the titular role.
The show is due to begin performances in February at the newly refurbished Lyric Theatre in the heart of London’s West End.
Tickets for Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Story will go on sale soon.