Motown The Musical

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The Tony Award nominated hit Motown The Musical brings its tale of Motown founder Berry Gordy, and the star-stuffed list of acts he discovered, to the Shaftesbury Theatre. Read More >

The Tony Award nominated hit Motown The Musical brings its tale of Motown founder Berry Gordy, and the star-stuffed list of acts he discovered, to the Shaftesbury Theatre.

Motown The Musical follows the legendary career of Berry Gordy and the creation of his musical empire, Motown Records. The story begins in 1983, on the evening of the 25th anniversary celebration of Motown, and Berry Gordy is looking back on his career.

Inspired by his childhood hero, black American boxer Joe Louis, the young Berry dreams big, hoping one day to make people just as happy and proud. After a few years on Detroit’s automobile assembly line, he sets his sights on bringing a socially charged, racially divided country together through the power of music. With an $800 loan from his family, Berry founds a music-making factory, launching the careers of artists including Diana Ross and the Supremes, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and more. Motown is born!

Motown The Musical tells the thrilling tale of the man who broke barriers and fought against the odds to define the sound of a generation – complete with the ups and downs of the personal relationships, the professional struggles, and – of course – the music that made history. Discover the story behind the beat that changed minds, touched lives and took the world by storm.

Motown The Musical stars Cedric Neal and Lucy St. Louis as Berry Gordy and Diana Ross. David Albury plays Smokey Robinson, with Kayi Ushe as Marvin Gaye.

The musical received its world premiere at New York’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in April 2013 and was followed by a US national tour that opened to critical acclaim in Chicago in spring 2014. The production is directed by Charles Randolph-Wright with a book by Gordy. The West End production has played at the Shaftesbury Theatre since February 2016, where Gordy, Smokey Robinson and Mary Wilson enjoyed its opening night.

Motown The Musical shows how one label and its roster of legendary artists created the soundtrack that transformed America and gave the world a new musical vocabulary – the Motown Sound. With over 40 classic songs such as My Girl, What’s Going On, Dancing In The Street, I Heard It Through The Grapevine and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, this explosive event is the next chapter of Motown’s incredible history – and an experience you’ll never forget.

Looking to see some musical theatre? Find out more about London musicals.


Age Recommendation: 8+ (Parental Guidance advised)

Important Dates & Timing

Previews From: 11/02/2016

Opening Night: 08/03/2016

Booking Until: 05/01/2019

Running time: 2h40, inc. interval

Security note: For your comfort and security, you may be subject to additional checks on your visit to London theatres. Please contact the venue for more information.

Cast & Creative


Berry Gordy - Cedric Neal

Diana Ross -  Lucy St. Louis

Smokey Robinson - David Albury

Marvin Gaye - Kayi Ushe

Young Berry/Stevie/Michael - Nana Agyemanbediako, Raphael Higgins-Humes, Rio Myers, Tumo Reetsang

Ensemble - KM Drew Boateng, Ryan Carter, Samuel Edwards, Vanessa Fisher, Dujonna Gift-Simms, Simon Ray Harvey, Terique Jarrett, Cameron Bernard Jones, Cleopatra Joseph, Wilson Kiiru, Natasha Leaver, Kieran McGinn, Simone Mistry-Palmer, Samuel Nicholas, Brianna Ogunbawo, Matt Overfield, Jay Perry, Timothy Quinlan, Sharon Rose, Lawrence Rowe, Ashley Samuels, Brandon Lee Sears, Carl Spencer, Richard Taylor Woods, Alex Thomas-Smith, Cherelle Williams, Michael Woolston-Thomas, Jayme-Lee Zanoncelli

Please note that from 6 March 2018 the West End cast will be led by Jay Perry as Berry Gordy, Natalie Kassanga as Diana Ross and Carl Spencer as Marvin Gaye. They join David Albury who continues in the role of Smokey Robinson.


Director - Charles Randolph-Wright

Producer - Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris, Berry Gordy & Adam Spiegel

Choreographer - Patricia Wilcox & Warren Adams

Costume - Emilio Sosa

Lighting Designer - Natasha Katz

Set Designer - David Korins

Sound - Peter Hylenski

ABOUT Shaftesbury Theatre

210 Shaftesbury Avenue, London WC2H 8DP