The Bob Marley bio-musical has a new director in Clint Dyer after Dominic Cooke announced he was stepping down to allow for better representation behind the scenes. The pair have a longstanding relationship, having worked on various projects together in the U.K. theatre industry.
The previously announced Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Story is set to debut at London's Lyric Theatre in 2021 with Arinzé Kene in the lead role.
"In recent weeks, the conversation about race has changed in theatre, as it has across society," Cooke said. "Clint is a brilliant theatre maker and an inspiring leader. I can’t wait to see what he brings to this powerful story. I have offered to support him in whatever way I can." The director will continue to focus on the film adaptation of Follies, the Stephen Sondheim and James Goldman musical that Cooke revived at the National Theatre in 2017.
Dyer's directorial credits include Death of England, which opened earlier this year at the National Theatre. The British-Jamaican artist also recently wrote and starred in a piece for Theatre Royal Stratford East's 846 project, in response to George Floyd’s murder and racial inequality and oppression.
"Having had the pleasure and education of working for Dominic as a writer-director at the Royal Court and with him at the National Theatre as an actor spanning decades, he has always been a man of great integrity, sensitivity, and of course immense talent," said Dyer. "So, in many regards it is of no surprise, that while having actually earned his ‘stripes’ as it were, he would still show such respect, dignity, and heart."
As for the project itself, Dyer added that he is thrilled to join the production. “As a British-Jamaican, I have been a Marleyite since I could hear," the director said. "I hope we can take forward the amazing work that Lee [Hall, bookwriter] and Dominic have done so far and bring this story to life in a conscious, uplifting and joyous way."
Get Up, Stand Up! is produced by Playful Productions and Stage Play.