My birthday treat from a friend was a trip to see Rudy's Rare Records at the Hackney Empire
He sometimes checks this blog so if you're reading... THANK YOU!!
I love the theatre, love plays, love music and am a fan of Lenny Henry... so it was a very well thought through gift.
The play itself is about a record shop owner, who is feeling the pressure of maintaining his old vinyl record shop with declining sales, in an area undergoing 'gentrification'.
Rudy, the store owner, is an ageing man who migrated to the UK from Jamaica His son 'Adam' (Lenny Henry), has returned to the family home after a divorce, and is worried about his fathers health, and the pile of bills that remain untouched in the corner. He knows that the developers want to buy the shop, and thinks his father should consider it.
There are no real surprises in the play. There are familiar themes of immigration, racism, 'gentrification', 'Jamaicanism' Caribbean'ness', etc, which are quite obviously addressed in places, so it lacks subtlety, but... in the main it's a warm hearted, fun, and funny play.
What I found quite touching,was the relationships between father and son, grandfather and grandson, and even the romance between the 'elders' that is often cast aside ( but is a very natural fact) between Rudy and his 'long suffering' 'girlfriend' Doreen.
The live band were great, and Lenny as a 'famous reggae star' was particularly entertaining. ( he does make me laugh Lenny.. btw he's looking better than ever! has lost weight and looks younger than ive seen him look in years!)
I'd recommend it, its a nice play, wonderful cast, Impressive stage design, and lots of fun.
Thanks again!.. you reminded me that i'm meant to be a playwrite :)