The Birmingham Rep have released first look images and video at the new musical, which begins performances from the 10th June.

(c) Graeme Braidwood

Based on the Irish classic The Playboy Of The Western World, Playboy of the West Indies was written by Mustapha Matura and will make its world premiere as a musical at the Birmingham Rep next month.

The theatre has now released a first glimpse of the musical, with the production’s leads; Durone Stokes (A Taste Of Honey – Trafalgar Studios / Dreamgirls – Savoy Theatre) as Ken and Nicole Sawyerr as Peggy (Much Ado About Nothing – RSC / Beneath The City – Birmingham Rep). This includes a music video of the duet ‘I’ll Be Thinking of You’.

The cast for Clement Ishmael, Nicolas Kent and Dominique Le Gendre’s production also includes: Elizabeth Ayodele, Guy Burgess, McCallam Connell, Derek Elroy, Nathaniel Morrison, Neil Patterson, Gleanne Purcell-Brown, Rachel Summers, Chris Tummings and Angela Wynter.

In Peggy’s rum bar in sleepy Mayaro village, a mysterious stranger stumbles in out of the darkness.With a voice like honey he tantalises the women and unnerves the men with a terrible story. As he weaves his magic spell on Peggy, her forthcoming nuptials to Stanley are thrown into doubt, and the village is plunged into uproar. While the women vie for this stranger’s attention, the men plot his downfall. Will events conspire to unmask his wild tales of derring-do?

As well as being written by Mustapha Matura, the musical features music composed by Clement Ishmael and Dominique Le Gendre, with lyrics by Clement Ishmael, Nicolas Kent, Dominique Le Gendre and Mustapha Matura. The creative team behind this world premiere production also includes: Choreographer and Movement Director, Ingrid Mackinnon; Set Designer, Michael Taylor; Costume Designer, Natalie Pryce; Lighting Designer, Matt Eagland; Sound Designer, Tony Gayle; Musical Director, Ian Oakley; Casting Director, Debbie O’Brien; Production Manager, Sam Paterson; and Voice & Dialect Coach, Simone Sauphanor.

The Rep’s Artistic Director, Sean Foley said: “Synge’s classic Irish comic drama, first brilliantly re-framed by Mustapha Matura in his adaptation set in 1950’s Trinidad, now becomes a world premiere new musical at The Rep.With a world-class creative team who knew and worked with Matura, and an amazing cast, this vibrant celebratory production is the perfect night out at the start of an extraordinary summer for our city.” 

Playboy of the West Indies will play at the Birmingham Rep from the 10th June until the 2nd July as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, a six month celebration of creativity in the West Midlands surrounding the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.


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