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Motown the Musical at the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury

It's almost the stuff of music legend, even though it happened within living memory for many.

The story of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, whose company founded the careers of the likes of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson started with him borrowing just $800 from his family.

Karis Anderson as Diana Ross and Edward Baruwa as Berry Gordy in Motown The Musical Picture: Tristram Kenton
Karis Anderson as Diana Ross and Edward Baruwa as Berry Gordy in Motown The Musical Picture: Tristram Kenton

The record label changed music history and created a soundtrack for a generation - and generations after, too.

The West End show Motown the Musical from Charles Randolph-Wright has music and lyrics from the Motown catalogue and book by Berry Gordy and comes to Canterbury this week.

And it has a live orchestra playing 50 hits including Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, I’ll Be There, Dancing In The Street, Stop! In The Name Of Love, My Girl and I Heard It Through the Grapevine.

Edward Baruwa, who has also appeared in Les Miserables and Sister Act, takes on the leading role of Berry while Karis Anderson will play Diana Ross. Karis is best-known for being one third of pop band Stooshe, who celebrated a Top 5 single with Black Heart in 2012, for which they received a nomination for Best British Single at the 2013 Brit Awards.

And Nathan Lewis will be making his stage debut as Smokey Robinson - he was a finalist on ITV’s The X Factor in 2016 as part of boyband Five After Midnight - while Shak Gabbidon-Williams will be playing Marvin Gaye.

Reece Richards as Jackie Wilson Picture: Tristram Kenton
Reece Richards as Jackie Wilson Picture: Tristram Kenton

Director of Motown The Musical, Charles Randolph-Wright, said: “I am so thrilled that we have been able to find this incredible cast of British artists for the UK tour of Motown the Musical.

"Their talent has astounded us all, as they embody the soul of Motown and capture the energy and essence of those iconic artists. "We are so excited to bring this show to cities across the UK and can’t wait to begin. Get ready!”

Motown The Musical is at The Marlowe Theatre from Tuesday, September 3 to Saturday, September 14.

A scene from Motown The Musical UK Tour Picture: Tristram Kenton
A scene from Motown The Musical UK Tour Picture: Tristram Kenton

Tickets can be booked on marlowetheatre.com or call 01227 787787.

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