Arinzé Kene gives a socking performance in Get Up, Stand Up!: Bob Marley’s soulful, glorious, pulsating reggae is here in abundance
Get Up, Stand Up!
Lyric Theatre, 伦敦 Until April 3, 2hrs 30mins
Don’t worry, as Bob Marley would say, you’ll feel a whole lot better coming out of this show than you did going in. It’s a wholly convincing resurrection of the reggae superstar, who died from cancer in 1981 只是年龄 36.
Arinzé Kene gives a socking performance, delivered against a backdrop of poverty, gun violence and a great wall of loudspeakers. It feels edgy and sounds fabulous, even if the story is overloaded and sketchy.
You naturally get all the juke-box standards including Could You Be Loved, Stir It Up, I Shot The Sheriff, Redemption Song, Jamming and, 最后, Get Up, Stand Up (which the audience did more than happily).
Arinzé Kene (以上) gives a socking performance, delivered against a backdrop of poverty, gun violence and a great wall of loudspeakers
Billy Elliot writer Lee Hall touches, fascinatingly, on Bob’s abandonment by his parents (Nate Simpson plays Bob as a young boy), his stardom, his ambivalent flirtation with Jamaican politics, his attempted assassination and the CIA’s idiotic fear of him as a potent black messiah.
Chris Blackwell (Henry Faber), who founded Island Records, is a pivotal part of the Bob Marley legend, along with Peter Tosh (Natey Jones) and Bunny Wailer (Jacade Simpson), Bob’s soul mates in the band.
There’s a lovely vignette of the lads touring the UK in 1974, miserably failing to hitch a ride in a Leicestershire snowstorm.
If Kene’s plaintive voice holds the show together, Shelley Maxwell’s choreography provides a cool, sinuous groove for the dance ensemble. But the evening would be diminished without Gabrielle Brooks as Bob’s long-suffering wife Rita, whose rendition of No Woman, No Cry brims with anger at his serial adultery.
同样地, Shanay Holmes as Bob’s beauty queen lover makes Waiting In Vain a piercing ballad of hurt.
Director Clint Dyer gets the event to feel like a live gig, with a ganja-like scent wafting into the stalls. Bob’s soulful, glorious, pulsating reggae is here in abundance and it’s a joy to be wrapped in it.