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New Bob Marley musical in development, with plans to open in 2020

The piece will be directed by Dominic Cooke with book by Lee Hall

Bob Marley in concert in Switzerland. File used through Wikimedia Commons, with the photo cropped to size.
© Ueli Frey (CC BY-SA 3.0)

A brand-new musical based on the life of Bob Marley has completed initial workshops this week, it has been revealed.

The award-winning Jamaican singer and songwriter, who pioneered the reggae musical style, was born in 1945 and received global acclaim for his performances, often as part of Bob Marley and the Wailers. Iconic tracks include "No Woman, No Cry", "Get Up, Stand Up" and "One Love/People Get Ready".

The new musical recently had a workshop production in London, with direction by Dominic Cooke (whose revival of Follies recently ran at the National Theatre) and book by Lee Hall (writer of Billy Elliot as well as screenwriter for Rocketman and the upcoming Cats film).

The piece, which is currently nameless, is overseen by a producing team of Playful Productions, Stage Play and Kwame Kwei-Armah. It has the backing of the Marley family, with the plan currently for a full production to open in 2020 – during what would be the year of Marley's 75th birthday.

Kwei-Armah, who is currently artistic director at the Young Vic, previously provided the book for a Bob Marley musical called One Love, which opened in Baltimore in 2015 and was later adapted before running at the Birmingham Rep in 2017.