On the heels of the news a musical based on Bob Marley’s childhood will debut inJamaica this coming January, another musical chronicling the attempted assassination of the legendary singer and his self-imposed exile to the U.K. will debut in Maryland next May.
The musical, simply titled Marley was written by Kwame Kwei-Armah, the artistic director for Center Stage theatre in Baltimore, where the musical will run from May 6 to June 15 of next year. The premiere will be a collaboration between Centre Stage and New York’s Public Theatre.
Marley focuses particularly on the period of 1976-1978, particularly December of 1976 when Marley, his wife Rita Marley and then manager,Don Taylor were shot following an ambush at the singer’s Hope Roadresidence. Two days after the shooting, Marley performed the Smile Jamaica concert as scheduled, but would relocate to England with his family due to fears over his safety.
In a recent interview with the Baltimore Sun, Kwei-Armah said he always had an intention to do a musical based on a specific moment of his life rather than his entire life and had been ‘blown away’ by the singer’s music. He agreed to do the musical after theatre producers in London approached him about the idea, but delayed the project after initially being unable to acquire the rights to Marley’s life story.