Dancing in the streets as Motown comes to Edinburgh

If you are a fan of the Motown era there is a show coming to the Edinburgh Playhouse this month that you won't want to miss.

The Supremes from the West End cast of Motown the Musical. Pic: Tristram Kenton.

Motown the Musical opened at the Birmingham Alexandra Theatre on October 11 and is now on tour across the UK and running at Edinburgh Playhouse from November 20 – December 8.

With music and lyrics from the Motown catalogue and book by Motown founder Berry Gordy, Charles Randolph-Wright’s production features a live orchestra playing 50 Motown tracks 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, and tells the story behind the classic hits.

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The London production of Motown the Musical opened on February 11, 2016. The production continues to play to standing ovations at the Shaftesbury Theatre where it is half way through its third year and is booking until April 2019.

Motown the Musical is coming to Edinburgh. Pic: Tristram Kenton.

Edward Baruwa will play the leading role of ‘Berry Gordy’, Karis Anderson will play ‘Diana Ross’, Nathan Lewis will play ‘Smokey Robinson’ and Shak Gabbidon-Williams will play ‘Marvin Gaye’ in the production.

Karis Anderson is best known as being one third of pop band ‘Stooshe’ who celebrated a top five single ‘Black Heart’ in 2012 for which they received a nomination for Best British Single at the 2013 Brit Awards.

Karis explained what people can expect from the show: “It is a really fun show with lots of songs people will know and love – all the Motown hits.

“It is the story of Barry Gordy and how he founded the American record company Motown and how he managed the biggest legends. He started Motown and people don’t know how in depth it goes with the racial debate at the time. It is the story of the music and how it all began and how he fell in love with Diana Ross.”

A tribute to the Jackson Five features as part of the musical. Pic: Tristram Kenton.

She is making the role of Diana her own: “The main thing for me was not to mimic Diana but to bring my own interpretation of Diana Ross to the role. The show looks at how her career began and her journey from performing with the Supremes to becoming Diana Ross.”

She added: “Motown was a fantastic era for music and this is my dream role. I am looking forward to coming to Edinburgh with the show it is one of my favourite places.”

Motown the Musical is on nightly at 7.30pm with matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm. For tickets visit: atgtickets.com/Edinburgh

Win tickets to see the show

WERE you one of those who danced in the aisles as Diana Ross belted out Ain’t No Mountain High Enough at The Playhouse 40 odd years ago? Or perhaps you were on cloud nine when The Temptations played the Greenside Place venue in 1989.

Ahead of the arrival of the smash-hit West End show Motown The Musical, The Playhouse has put out an appeal for your memories of the many Motown legends who have performed at the venue over the years.

Marketing Manager Pam Aldred said: “Motown the Musical comes to The Playhouse this Autumn and we want to hear all about your Motown memories. We’re appealing for theatre-goers who may have seen first-hand the original Motown icons perform at the incredible venue to come forward.”

She continued: “We’d like you to share pictures you may have taken of them during their performances and your memories of these amazing moments in time.

“Or do you have pictures of family members who were there, who would always refer to the anecdote as a ‘I was there’ moment?

“Our favourite pictures and memories will have a chance to win four VIP tickets to the Motown The Musical press and guest night performance on Wednesday, November 21.”

Please share your memories and photos in the comments boxes below the story on the Facebook pages for the Fife Free Press, Glenrothes Gazette, East Fife Mail, Fife Herald and St Andrews Citizen for a chance to win the tickets. The deadline for posting comments is Monday, November 12 at noon.