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Stage Première of Rudy’s Rare Records: Last Shop Standing

Hackney Empire 291 Mare Street London E81JEJ
Box Office 0208 985 2424
Overground to Hackney Central, Buses 30, 38, 48, 55, 106, 236, 242, 253, 254, 276, 277

This stage première is produced by Hackney Empire and Birmingham Repertory Theatre in September/October 2014.

Starring Lenny Henry, Rudy’s Rare Records is currently at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre from Thursday 4 - Sat 20 September. The production will be at Hackney Empire from Wed 24 September - Sunday 5 Oct 2014.

This comedy is based on the popular BBC Radio 4 sitcom ‘Rudy’s Rare Records’, of which award winning writer Danny Robins has written four series. This new stage adaptation by Danny Robins is directed by Paulette Randall, musical director Joseph Roberts, designed by Libby Watson with lighting by Mark Jonathan.

Other cast are Natasha Godfrey, Jeffery Kissoon, Joivan Wade, Lorna Gayle, Tendayi Jembere and Larrington Walker. There will be a live band on stage playing music by Jimmy Cliff, Dawn Penn, Desmond Dekker, Harry J Allstars and the Sugarhill Gang.

Rudy's Rare Records is a tiny down-at-heel old reggae record shop in Birmingham. It's one of a dying breed; a place with real soul, stacked with piles of vinyl, where the slogan is "if we don't have it - them don't mek it". It's owned by the charismatic, irrepressible, cantankerous Rudy Sharpe (Larrington Walker), reluctantly helped out by his long-suffering son Adam (Lenny Henry), but when the threat of developers looms, father and son must put their differences aside as they face a battle to keep the music alive. Rudy’s Rare Records shows how desperate times draw families together, even when you can’t stand the sight of each other.

Lenny Henry (Adam) has risen from being a cult star on children’s television to being one of Britain’s best known and loved personalities. His popular characters include Brixton’s favourite wideboy Delbert Wilkins to the one-man ‘sex machine’ Theophilus P. Wildebeeste and the Guinness supping Grandpa Deakus. He won the Evening Standard Best Newcomer Award for his portrayal of Othello for Northern Broadsides. This toured the UK and played a sell out season at the Trafalgar Studios in 2011. Last year he was in an acclaimed West End season and UK tour as Troy Maxson in August Wilson’s Award winning drama ‘Fences’ at the Duchess Theatre directed by Paulette Randall and designed by Libby Watson.

Larrington Walker (Rudy) has been in the four BBC series of Rudy’s Rare Records. His stage credits include many seasons with the RSC including New York residencies. Joivan Wade (Richie) plays Failia in the cult E4 series ‘Youngers’. Natasha Godfrey reprises her role as Tasha following the BBC radio 4 series. Jeffery Kissoon reprises his role as Clifton, and was last seen as Schlink in Brecht’s ‘In the Jungle of Cities’ at the Arcola. He was Antony in ‘Antony and Cleopatra’ opposite Kim Cattrell.

The third series of ‘Rudy’s Rare Records’ was repeated on BBC Radio 4 earlier this summer. Danny Robins has written widely for TV and Radio. He created the award-winning CBBC series ‘Young Dracula’ and co-created and wrote the cult BBC 2 series ‘We Are History’. He has written for Armando Iannucci, Joan Rivers, Ronnie Barker and even Basil Brush. For radio he has been responsible for the Sony Award-nominated ‘The Museum of Everything’, ‘Paperback Hell’ and of course Rudy’s Rare Records as well as working on such hits as ‘Dead Ringers’ and ‘Parsons and Naylor’. His new Radio 4 sitcom ‘The Cold Swedish Winter’ has just been transmitted.

Tues-Sat 7.30pm, Sat Mat 3.00pm, Sun 5.00pm, Tickets £10 - £25.00 (bking fee online & phone)

1 June 2014