Reggae rhythms have them rocking
The Harder They Come
THE Harder They Come has a superb all-Jamaican cast, great reggae music and a gritty story laced with much humour which is a recipe for a night of solid entertainment.
There was an air of excitement and anticipation amongst the audience leading up to the start of the show and they were not disappointed. With hit songs made famous by Jimmy Cliff such as The harder they come, Many rivers to cross and You can get it if you really want it, this must-see show that had its audience clapping and dancing in the aisles and closed to a rapturous standing ovation.
Written by Perry Henzel, the 1972 film of the same name is seen as instrumental in changing perceptions of Jamaica and its culture. The stage adaptation is high-energy, and fast-paced telling the story of a country boy, Ivan (Matthew J Henry), who has a dream of being a reggae star.
He heads for the bright lights of Kingston, where he meets and falls in love with Elsa (Alanna Leslie), an orphan who was raised by the preacher (Victor Romero Evans). Ivan is a gifted singer and song writer but finds reggae music industry to be cut-throat.
DEALING IN DRUGS
He turns to dealing in drugs to finance his own recording and production. His song The Harder They Come is a hit but his involvement in the drugs world spirals out of control. He is outlawed as a gangster and shoots two policeman but is lauded as a hero fighting against a corrupt police force. Sadly he meets he meets a premature and violent end.
The show is exceptional and each member of the cast and band are extremely talented with outstanding performances from Matt Henry, Marlon King (Pedro) and Derek Elroy as the DJ. However, the patois dialogue and the humour is occasionally lost to some (surtitles would greatly benefit the show).
The full cast and band are on stage throughout with a minimum of staging which allows for the free movement of the players around the stage and Sound Designer, Simon Deacon, has captured the essence of hot steamy, cricket-laden Jamaican nights while imaginative lighting by Jo Joelson has you believing there are lone characters in what is a full stage. The finale had the audience on their feet, dancing and clapping along to a medley of classic songs. The show ended with an uproarious standing ovation and we were delighted with an encore of some of the best songs from the show.
If you only manage to catch one show this year, this
is the one to see. To 29-05-10.