Local actors perform with professionals at theatre

A previous production of Soul Man
A previous production of Soul Man

Fifteen local actors are performing alongside the professional cast in Soul Man at the Stephen Joseph Theatre this summer.

The OutReach community actors perform in the scenes at Duke’s Night Spot and Cabaret Bar, singing both opera and 1970s soul songs as well as dancing.

Those taking part are: Charlotte Brooke, Jordan Butler, Carol Eves, Tom Hanson, Jaye Lewis, Diana Logan, Emily Loombe, Rob MacKay, Kathleen O’Reilly, Oliver Ritchie, Ajay Sharma, Rebecca Simpson, Rachael Walton, Alex Whyte and Megan Woodward-Hay.

Soul Man is artistic director’s Chris Monks’ new musical adventure in which Rigoletto, Verdi’s masterpiece of love, lust and revenge is given a twist of soul.

Building on the popularity of The Pirates Of Penzance, The Mikado and Carmen, this is Chris’ first musical adaptation specially written for the Stephen Joseph.

It stars Jimmy Johnson as a nightclub comedian who is trying to keep his daughter from the clutches of the club’s owner.

“Opera can be difficult, and some audiences want to go to a show and appreciate it instantly,” said Chris. “They don’t want it sung in a different language and they don’t want to have to listen to music they can’t absorb and understand, so my job is to ease them into it.

“My adaptations are driven by a deep love I have for these works. They should be accesible to everbody.”

Soul Man runs until September 1.