Sold-out musical 'Rush - a Joyous Jamaican Journey' rocks Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre was absolutely rocking to the beat of the Windrush generation when the sold out musical show 'Rush - a Joyous Jamaican Journey' came to town.

DJ Ken Mclean, Owen Miller with Orvil Pinnock at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre
DJ Ken Mclean, Owen Miller with Orvil Pinnock at Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

The audience was in fine voice singing and dancing for much of the night at a music-packed show interspersed with narration by funnyman John Simmit on Tuesday.

There was lots packed in, from a mainly British-Jamaican perspective, and it featured the music of reggae greats including Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Lord Kitchener and Millie Small performed by the 11-piece JA Reggae Band.

Using the full breadth of music genres from the Caribbean, the show told the story of key moments in the history of a people taken from their roots in West Africa over 400 years, through to enslavement in the West Indies followed by migration to the UK.

DJ Ken Mclean

Simmit ably held the show together along with DJ Ken McLean, with his floor-length dreadlocks, taking the audience on a journey in its many forms such as ska, 2tone, rock steady, lovers rock, dancehall rap, and an inspiring appearance by the Windrush Gospel Choir.

There was warm applause for tributes to trailblazers including Notting Hill Carnival founder the Trinidadian activist Claudia Jones, and the poet Louise Bennett, known as Miss Lou, whose revolutionary book of poems, called Jamaica Labrish, changed the landscape of Jamaican literature in English and paved the way for the dub and rap movements.

Miss Lou was also the first black person to be accepted at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London in 1945.

The diverse JA Reggae band was amazing with lead vocalists Janice and Daniel maintaining the tempo for show that you can't really sit still.

'Rush - a Joyous Jamaican Journey' produced by Rush Theatre Company will perform in Brierley Hill in March.

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