BLACK Country funnyman Lenny Henry stars in the stage premiere of Rudy’s Rare Records at Birmingham Repertory Theatre next month.
Based on the BBC Radio 4 series, written by Danny Robins and which Henry co-created as well as starred in, Rudy’s Rare Records is a comedy set in an old reggae record shop in Birmingham. Owned by Rudy Sharpe (Larrington Walker), reluctantly helped out by his long-suffering son Adam (Lenny Henry), the shop is stacked with vinyl.
The contrasting pair bicker, snicker, break-up and make-up to the accompaniment of a soundtrack which includes Jimmy Cliff, Desmond Dekker, Bob Marley and the Sugarhill Gang.
However, when the threat of developers looms, father and son must put their differences aside as they battle to keep the music alive.
After a successful stand up and television comedy career Lenny Henry is now one of the country's foremost stage talents.
He won the Evening Standard Best Newcomer Award for his portrayal of Othello for Northern Broadsides and completed an acclaimed tour and West End season in August Wilson’s award-winning Fences.
He said: "I've performed comedy gigs many times in Birmingham over the years, but this is my first straight acting role in the city and the first time I've been on stage at the Rep, which is something I'm really looking forward to.
"Growing up in Dudley I would come into Birmingham every Saturday to hang-out in a record shop not too dissimilar to Rudy's, so it's a play that's very close to my heart."
Joining Lenny Henry in the cast is Larrington Walker (Rudy) who has been in all four BBC series of Rudy’s Rare Records. His stage credits include seasons with the RSC whereas Joivan Wade (Richie) is best-known as Failia in the cult E4 series Youngers.
Danny Robins has written widely for TV and Radio. He created the award-winning CBBC series Young Dracula and co-created and wrote the cult BBC 2 series We Are History. He has written for Armando Iannucci, Joan Rivers, Ronnie Barker and even Basil Brush.
Rudy’s Rare Records is at Birmingham Repertory Theatre from Thursday, September 4 until Saturday, September 20. For more information visit www.birmingham-rep.co.uk.