‘Rush – a Joyous Jamaican Journey’ will come to Wolverhampton Grand Theater to tell the story of reggae music and the Windrush generation.
Narrated by comedian John Simmit, the show features music by Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Lord Kitchener and Millie Small, all performed by the 11-piece JA Reggae Band.
Owen Miller, who is the show’s writer, director and producer, said the idea came from his experiences as a child in the 1970s watching how his elders enjoyed music and listening to their stories.
“I would sit at 119 Lynwood Road in the front room and see my elders dancing and partying, even though I never listened to that music because I was in Sweet and David Bowie,” he said. -he explains.
“Now, years after they passed away, I’m talking to the generation and learning so much about them and how when they came here they were told their qualifications didn’t mean anything, so I decided to write it down. story to show the good as well as the bad.
“It’s great to see the reactions as people came to me and told me it wasn’t what they expected but they are really happy with what they saw and it it is great to get people to travel. “
Tour director Dani McCalla spoke of the reaction to the tour, which will take place at the Grand on November 16, saying people didn’t need to be rushed to get up and dance.
She said: “It was awesome and we absolutely love seeing everyone get up and dance and we didn’t have to cheer on anyone because it was just a natural thing.
“We can feed off of that and we have a great time on stage seeing everyone having a good time in the audience, and we get so many cool posts on social media from people saying they had a great time. good time.
“They’ll tell us the music is great and the show is funny, but they’re also moved by people’s experiences, so it’s great to have that feedback.”
The tour has performed in venues in Birmingham, Coventry, Derby and Nottingham, and will visit cities like Edinburgh and Liverpool in the New Year, but ends in 2021 at the Grand Theater.
Ken McLean, who performs as DJ and backing vocalist Ken Dread, had heard about the Windrush Generation from his parents and said the show was very close to his heart.
He said, “I’m very passionate about this show because I can relate to it as a product of this generation, so I experienced the show and participated in it.
“Hearing things regularly on tour, I always laugh because it brings back memories of my childhood.
“I think people can expect an experience like never before, because there is humor, knowledge, live music and just a great overall vibe on stage.”
Music director and lead guitarist Orvil Pinnock said the music helps evoke memories of the time.
He said: “Windrush was seen in a negative light because while they were invited here they faced a lot of hostility.
“However, the music was one of the things they could look back on because it always said something positive and brought a lot of warmth, while influencing a lot of other scenes.
“I really love being a part of that and being able to tell the story of our generation in a positive way because it shows the contributions made and honors those who have contributed to this society.”
“Rush – A Joyous Jamaican Journey” will be performed on Tuesday, November 16 at Wolverhampton Grand Theater.