Theatre News

New Bob Marley musical Get Up, Stand Up! to open in the West End in 2021

Arinzé Kene will star in the new musical when it opens in London

Bob Marley (left) and Arinzé Kene (right)
Bob Marley (left) and Arinzé Kene (right)
© Left: Fifty-Six Hope Road Music, Adrian Boot. Right: Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Story, a new musical based on the life of the iconic musician, will open in the West End in 2021, it has been announced.

Penned by Lee Hall (Billy Eliott) and directed by Dominic Cooke (Follies, Hello, Dolly), the show follows Marley's life as he evolved into becoming one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. It will star Arinzé Kene (Misty, Girl from the North Country) in the titular role, with further casting and creative team to be announced.

Marley's daughter Cedella 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 led by the stellar team of Lee and Dominic, and starring the fantastic Arinzé.  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 feature some of Marley's iconic songs, including "No Woman, No Cry", "Exodus", "3 Little Birds" and "Get Up Stand Up".

The production will begin previews in London at the newly refurbished Lyric Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue on Saturday 6 February 2021, what would have been Marley's 76th birthday.

Kene said: "I feel absolutely honoured to be able to take on this role. It is not only an honour to be able to spread Bob Marley's message further, but 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."

Tickets will go on sale on 21 April 2020.