Yesterday (5th October), at the launch event in London for Motown the Musical, Cedric Neal (Berry Gordy) and Lucy St. Louis (Diana Ross) were announced to lead the cast in the West End production, opening at the Shaftesbury Theatre from February 2016. With music and lyrics from the legendary Motown catalogue and book by Motown founder Berry Gordy, Motown the Musical is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright. London previews will begin on 11th February 2016, with the show booking until 22nd October 2016.
Further casting announced includes Keisha Amponsa Banson (Mary Wells), Cherelle Williams (Mary Wilson), Cleopatra Rey (Gladys Knight), Cindy Belliot (Anna Gordy), Aisha Jawondo (Martha Reeves), Samuel Edwards (Jackie Wilson), Brandon Lee Sears (Tito Jackson), Joshua Liburd (Eddie Kendricks) and Simeon Montague (Jermaine Jackson). They are joined by Daniel Bailey, Edward Baruwa, Tanya Nicola Edwards, Eddie Elliot, Portia Harry and Simon Ray Harvey. Final full casting will be announced shortly.
Cedric Neal’s (Berry Gordy) US theatre credits include After Midnight on Broadway, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess on Broadway and for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Dreamgirls for the Signature Theatre for which he won a Helen Hayes Award, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Stagger Lee for the Dallas Theater Center.
Lucy St. Louis (Diana Ross) is currently performing in Beautiful – The Carole King Musical at the Aldwych Theatre. Her previous theatre credits include The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre, Ragtime for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Peter Pan for the Venue Cymru, Llandudno, and Ultimate Broadway for the Shanghai Culture Square Theatre. On film, she will be seen in the upcoming Disney live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
Featuring a 16-piece orchestra playing 50 Motown tracks including Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, I’ll Be There, Dancing In The Street, Stop! In The Name Of Love, My Girl and I Heard It through the Grapevine, Charles Randolph-Wright’s production tells the story behind the classic hits.
Visit www.motownthemusical.co.uk to buy tickets.
Images: Craig Sugden