Motown Moves into Victoria Palace, 22 JuneDate: 24 May 1999
We've had all eras of pop rock musical in the West End - from fifties to seventies to nineties, with the 'pop drama' Boyband due next month. And now it's the turn of Motown. The new musical Soul Train will chug into the Victoria Palace on 22 June (previews from 16 June) for a limited ten-week season.
The show started life under the title The Grapevine at the Derby Playhouse in 1998. It's a full scale celebration of soul music woven together by writers Mark Clements and Micheal Vivian and featuring classic songs from the 1960s onwards.
Soul Train pays homage to artists such as James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, The Temptations, The Three Degrees, Sam & Dave, Martin Gaye and many others with a score that includes legendary hits like 'Midnight Train to Georgia', 'Mustang Sally', 'Proud Mary', 'When Will I See You Again?', 'Try a Little Tenderness', 'Natural Woman', 'Sexual Healing', 'Under the Boardwalk', 'Soul Man', 'Dock of the Bay', 'If You Don't Know Me by Now' and 'R.E.S.P.E.C.T'.
Soul Train stars Sheila Ferguson, lead singer from The Three Degrees; Danny John Jules, best known as 'Cat' in the television series Red Dwarf; and Sharon Benson, most recently seen in the West End in Boogie Nights. They are joined in the cast by Jacqui Boatswain, C Gerod Harris, Melanie E Marshall, Karen McSween, David Obinyan, Jason Pennycooke, Colin Roy and Vanessa Smith.
The musical is directed by Mark Clements, choreographed by Stephen Mear and designed by Niki Turner, with lighting by Chris Ellis, sound by Bobby Aitken and musical supervision by Clement Ishmael.
Prior to the Victoria Palace season, Soul Train plays at the Richmond Theatre from 24 May and at Southampton's Mayflower Theatre from 7 June. At the Victoria Palace, The Rocky Horror Show, starring Jason Donovan, which is currently playing, finishes on 5 June. Following the Soul Train run will be Simon Callow's revival of The Pajama Game, which opens 21 September.