DUDLEY’S biggest star, Lenny Henry will perform at Birmingham Repertory Theatre for the stage premiere of Rudy’s Rare Records.
The comedian and actor will take on his first role at the theatre from September 4-20 with the show, based on the BBC Radio 4 series, set in an old reggae record shop at risk of re-development in Birmingham.
Henry plays Adam, the son of shop owner, who reluctantly moves home to look after his dad and help run the shop.
Adapted for the stage by writer Danny Robins, Rudy’s Rare Records is directed by Paulette Randall and produced by Birmingham Repertory Theatre and Hackney Empire where it will run immediately after the premiere in Birmingham.
The production will feature a live band onstage playing music by Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, Bob Marley and the Sugarhill Gang.
Henry, who made his name on New Faces and Tiswas, becoming a mainstay of TV comedy, also co-founded Comic Relief and is a talented singer.
He recently established himself as a formidable actor receiving huge critical acclaim for his portrayal of Shakespeare’s Othello and in the West End as Troy Maxon in August Wilson’s Fences.
He said: “I’ve performed comedy gigs many times in Birmingham over the years, but this is my first straight acting role in the city and the first time I’ve been on stage at The REP, which is something I’m really looking forward to.
"Growing up in Dudley I would come into Birmingham every Saturday to hang-out in a record shop not too dissimilar to Rudy’s so it’s a play that’s very close to my heart."
Roxana Silbert, artistic director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre added: “We're delighted that Lenny will be bringing this brilliant show about three generations of a Birmingham family back home.
“With Lenny’s inimitable warmth and humour, it promises to be an uplifting evening and I'm looking forward to his REP debut enormously.”