This Summer, the Royal & Derngate in Northampton and Hackney Empire will co-produce the world premiere production of Roy Williams’ play about the soul legend Marvin Gaye.
Directed by James Dacre and designed by Jon Bausor, the production will head to the Royal & Derngate Theatre from the 20th May until the 11th June, before heading to the Hackney Empire from the 15th June until the 3rd July.
On April Fool’s Day 1984, hours before his 45th birthday, Marvin Gaye was shot dead by his father in the shared family home they called the ‘Big House.’ What happened there – and whether it was murder or suicide – has been shrouded in mystery since.
Revealing what really happened during Marvin Gaye’s haunting final days and celebrating his extraordinary life, Soul is a parable about an American family prepared to do anything to promote and protect their children.
The cast will include: Adjoa Andoh, Leo Wringer, Petra Letang, Mimi Ndiweni, Nathan Ives-Moira, Keenan Munn-Francis and Abiona Omonua.
Written by Roy Williams (Sucker Punch), the play with music was created with the close collaboration with members of Marvin Gaye’s family and will feature Royal & Derngate’s and Hackney Empire’s celebrated community choirs.
The production will also feature original instrumental music composed and recorded for the production by Marvin Gaye’s close musical collaborator Gordon Banks, widely considered to be one of soul music’s great guitarists.
Soul will feature lighting by Mark Howland, sound by Fergus O’Hare, video design by Tal Rosner and musical direction by Joseph Roberts.