Marvin Gaye play is thriller, not musical

The director of a play about Motown icon Marvin Gaye says the work is more a thriller than a musical.

Soul is to open at the Royal & Derngate Theatre, Northampton, England, in May next year. It was written while award-winning playwright Roy Williams OBE spent several years working closely with the later singer’s family.

Gaye was shot dead in 1984 in a domestic altercation with his father.

Director James Dacre tells the BBC: “It’s a dramatic thriller, not a musical. It will have the spirit and energy of Motown, and it will include music from the time.

“While the piece looks at three generations of a port-war African American family, everything roots back to the home, and what happens in the course of 18 days underneath that roof.”

While he accepts it’s a well-known story, he adds: “Roy’s access to so many of the people who were there gives him a unique perspective, and will allow our audience an unusual insight into what happened.”

At least three significant attempts to portray Gaye’s life in a movie have come to nothing over the past decade, with Lenny Kravitz billed as the star of one. Gaye’s ex-wife and son have spoken out in the past again the idea of a biopic being made.

Freelance Online News Contributor

Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.