Full casting has been announced for Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s production of One Love: The Bob Marley Musical which premieres in March (10 March to 8 April).
Set across a dramatic period in the music legend’s life, this new production written and directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, tells the story of a man propelled from rising reggae star to global icon.
With unprecedented access to the entire Bob Marley catalogue, the musical features Marley’s greatest songs performed live by the cast.
Mitchell Brunings will make his UK stage debut as Bob Marley alongside Alexia Khadime who will play Rita Marley.
Khadime’s major West End roles include Nabulungi in The Book of Mormon, Eponine in Les Misérables, Elphaba in Wicked and Nala in The Lion King. Most recently she played the lead in Hackney Empire’s 2016 pantomime Sleeping Beauty. Her screen roles include London Road and Les Misérables.
Eric Kofi Abrefa (Labyrinth, Wildefire, Hampstead Theatre; The Glass Menagerie, Headlong; Humans, Channel 4) will play Bob’s closest friend, Pablo.
Cat Simmons (Sweet Charity, Manchester Royal Exchange; Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern, Out of Joint; Oliver!, national tour) will play Bob’s lover, Cindy Breakspeare.
Newtion Matthews (The Frontline, Shakespeare’s Globe; Dancing in the Streets, UK tour) will play Bunny Wailer alongside Jacade Simpson (The Book of Mormon, The Scottsboro Boys, West End) who will play Peter Tosh.
Adrian Irvine (King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, National Theatre) will play Jamaican Prime Minister, Michael Manley; while Simeon Truby (War Horse, National Theatre international tour) will play Leader of the Opposition, Edward Seaga.
Ricardo Coke-Thomas (The Book of Mormon, Shrek the Musical, West End; Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, National Theatre) will play Tony Welsh. Birmingham-born Thomas Vernal, a recent graduate from The Arden School of Theatre, will play Claudie Massop.
Delroy Brown, also from Birmingham (King David: Man of Blood, Mercury Theatre Colchester; The Harder They Come, Theatre Royal Stratford East; Scott and Bailey, ITV) will play Bob’s manager, Don Taylor.
Alex Robertson (Tomorrow I Was Always a Lion, Belarus Free Theatre; The Seagull, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre) will play Chris Blackwell. Natey Jones (Doctor Faustus, Don Quixote, The Alchemist, all Royal Shakespeare Company/Barbican) will play Don Letts.
Maria Omakinwa (Show Boat, Sheffield Crucible/West End; The Bodyguard, West End) will play Judy Mowatt. Shyko Amos returns to Birmingham Repertory Theatre (where she last performed in This Island) to play Marcia Griffiths.
The ensemble will include: Taofique Folarin, Martina Isibor, Melissa James, Lemuel Knights, Tanisha Spring, Ellena Vincent and Marcquelle Ward.
One Love: The Bob Marley Musical will be designed by Ultz, with musical supervision and arrangements by Phil Bateman and choreography by Coral Messam. Lighting design will be by Tim Lutkin, sound by Richard Brooker, projections by Duncan McLean, orchestrations by Simon Hale and musical direction by Sean Green.