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Reggae musical to open at the Playhouse Theatre in the West End


’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.

About Dewynters
Dewynters ( ) is the UK’s leading arts and entertainment marketing agency. The agency provides a range of creative and in-house solutions to meet the needs of clients operating in theatre, visual arts, exhibitions, opera, dance, music, museums, and the television and film industries. Services include marketing, new media, advertising, creative, sales promotion, publishing, and merchandising.

The company has worked on such diverse projects as West End musicals (Wicked, Les Misérables, and The Sound of Music and Chicago), the Royal Academy of Arts, Tata Galleries and the National Portrait Gallery.


 reggae musical
 The Harder They Come
 Playhouse Theatre
 London musical

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