(click song title above to listen)
“Chuck Cooper’s every entrance is as frightening as a specter of death. Singing with power and resonance, he’s a villian who can be jointly cheered and booed”. The New York Times
Cy Coleman’s 1997 broadway musical The Life was ten years in the making and in his own words “worth every minute of it”. Aside from all the awards and accolades (Drama Desk Awards, Outer Critics’ Circle Awards, Drama League Awards, Grammy nominations and a record breaking 12 Tony nominations), it won the praise of such prominent luminaries in the theatre as Arthur Miller who said, “If Kurt Weill and Bertold Brecht were alive today, this is the musical they would have written”!
The Life is a raw, gritty and moving story of friendship and hope from multi-layered characters and flawless direction by Michael Blakemore OBE. The original production included Tony nominations for featured performers Sam Harris, Lillias White (Featured Actress Winner), Pamela Isaacs, and the powerhouse performer of this week’s tune, Chuck Cooper (Featured Actor Winner).
This year marks the show’s 20th anniversary and the UK premiere with original director Blakemore at the helm begins now! When he was asked in a recent interview about the new cast, “every single person we approached we got – it’s all our first choices. People like Sharon D. Clarke, Cornell S. John, it’s all really proper talent”. Blakemore continues, “It’s an enthralling story, with a plot like an old black-and-white Warner Bros. movie. It’s got this soarinig music, great performances, lots of it is very funny. If you like that kind of tight construction and soaring narrative, with real grit and heart, I think you’ll love it”.
The Life at Southwark Playhouse March 25 – April 29th, don’t miss!
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