Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

UK News: UB40 musical opens in Birmingham 06 ahead of possible West End transfer


UB40 have announced plans for a musical to be staged next year in their home city of Birmingham.

The band has chosen to collaborate with a young writer, Jess Walters, and the Birmingham Repertory Theatre to create Promises And Lies.

The announcement comes just days after their rousing performance in front of billions at Live8 and in the same year that they celebrate 25 years in the music business. As well as a host of their classic hits UB40 are composing several new tracks especially for the show.

The musical will open at The REP on 20 March to 15 April 2006 and tickets for the premiere go on sale today (Tuesday, 5 July).

UB40 say:

"We were approached by a number of producers to create a UB40 musical for the West End, but we wanted to do more than simply string together our hits into a throw-away plot – it had to have a story that reflected our view of the world. The REP have a great reputation for new work of real quality and they were really committed to work with us to bring our vision to the stage. We're really looking forward to working with Jess Walters who's a terrifically talented young writer."

Promises And Lies will be directed by The REP's Artistic Director, Jonathan Church:

"We're excited to be collaborating with the band and thrilled that they have decided to create a new musical in the city where their music was forged. The band's material provides such strong inspiration and they have been very clear that they want the musical to tackle real contemporary issues."

 Jess Walters has previously written two plays for The REP- Terracotta and 'Low Dat. Promises And Lies will be developed over the coming months through extensive research, and work with young people in Birmingham. The musical will look at the contrasts that exist in society between those in control and the ordinary people whose destinies lie in their hands. It will tell the uplifting story of individuals battling against the odds to survive on the edge of a deceptively glossy modern city.  

Promises And Lies forms part of Birmingham's Urban Fusion - an explosion of creativity and events throughout 2005/6, bringing together more than 60 of the city's leading lights in arts and culture. Funded by the Arts Council and the Millennium Commission, the programme covers six key themes around music, poetry and literature, city regeneration, cultural diversity, visual arts and the celebration of talent. Further information on Urban Fusion can be found at 


Related Articles

From This Author - West End News Desk