Discover his inspiration for the children’s story about a cheeky little fellow with big dreams of being in the spotlight.
Joining the show from 6 March 2018 will be Jay Perry as Berry Gordy, Natalie Kassanga as Diana Ross and Carl Spencer as Marvin Gaye.
The newly announced trio will join David Albury, who continues in the role of Smokey Robinson.
11-year-old Cruz Lee-Ojo has also joined the cast as Young Michael Jackson, Young Berry Gordy and Young Stevie Wonder – a role shared with 12-yeard-old Tumo Reestang.
With music and lyrics from the Motown back catalogue and a book by founder Berry Gordy, the production features a 16-piece 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.
The story follows the first 25 years of the record label, as featherweight boxer Berry Gordy borrows $800 from his family to found Motown Records – growing it into a heavyweight music powerhouse and launching the careers of Diana Ross and the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and many more.
Through the musical journey of classic hit records, Motown the Musical uncovers the true story of the legendary record label that changed music history and created the soundtrack of a generation.
Jay Perry’s previous theatre credits include Beautiful: The Carole King Musical and Whistle Down The Wind both at the Aldwych Theatre, Hairspray at the Gordon Craig Theatre and he currently plays lead Temptation as part of the Motown the Musical West End Company. He was an original member of pop group S Club Juniors.
Natalie Kassanga returns to the West End having last been seen on stage as an original cast member of Cameron Mackintosh’s Oliver! at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. She made her West End debut as Young Nala in The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre.
Carl Spencer is an original member of the Motown the Musical West End Company. His previous theatre credits include The Scottsboro Boys at the Young Vic and Garrick Theatre.
From 6 March ensemble members comprise Chanice Alexandra-Burnett, KM Drew Boateng, Timothy Benjamin, Ryan Carter, Ricardo Castro, Amandla Elynah, Livvy Evans, Segun Fawole, Angela Marie Hurst, Cameron Bernard Jones, Cleopatra Joseph, Nathan Lorainey-Dineen, Mireia Mambo, Matt Overfield, Adam Philpott, Ainsley Hall Ricketts, Lawrence Rowe, Jaime Tait, Kyle Turner, Anna Van Ruiten, Cherelle Williams, Lashane Williams, Michael Woolston-Thomas, Jayme-Lee Zanoncelli and Mitchell Zhangazha.
Later this year, a tour of Motown the Musical will play simultaneously around the UK.
Motown the Musical is currently booking at the Shaftesbury Theatre until 5 January 2019, get your tickets before 18 February and save in our No Booking Fee offer here.