Rush at the Apex - A Joyous Jamaican Journey...
In 1948, hundreds of people from the Caribbean boarded the Empire Windrush and travelled to Tilbury Docks in Essex. With them they brought an explosion of dance, art, writing and music which would transform British culture. After WWII, large parts of Britain were in desperate need of rebuilding, so the UK actively invited immigration from Commonwealth nations.
Rush is narrated by comedian John Simmit and features the JA Reggae Band, playing music by Desmond Dekker, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley, Lord Kitchener, Millie Small and many more.
Owen Miller, the Artistic Director and Producer of the show, co-managed Liberty X and was tour manager for The Jacksons. He told us, “I began working in Tour Management and Managing Artists years ago. With the help of a cousin who played with Steel Pulse I started out by helping out backstage. Tour Management has taken me all over the world – Brazil and Cuba, the United States, Japan, Mexico, Australia and most of Europe. It sounds exciting but most of the time you saw the venue, your hotel room, and lived out of a suitcase so really it was just hard work.”
Owen explains how the show came about: “I first had the idea for a show about the history of Reggae music about 25 years ago, but I hadn’t taken that leap of faith to produce it; however, I was on tour with The Jacksons last year and was talking to two of the brothers about my idea and they both encouraged me to take the next step.”
“My parents came to England, along with thousands of others, in the hope of finding a better life in the Motherland, so it was really important to me on a personal level to tell this story.”
One of the aims of the show is to highlight the positive impact immigration can have on a wider culture and the show brings together musicians/artists from different ethnic backgrounds to celebrate Reggae music. Owen says, “It may sound idealistic, but we have a message to convey and that is we can all learn from each other, if we can just see past our differences and work together. Reggae Music is our vehicle to achieve this and the response we received at the two pilot performances last October was phenomenal and we want to share that with as many people as possible.”
Indeed, audience comments included: “It was one of the most exhilarating performances I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. Such joy, alongside a timeline of the music of The Caribbean and more specifically that of Jamaica. Also a reminder of the struggles, hardships and racism experienced by a people who have given us so much.” and “A thoroughly uplifting evening. The perfect mix of black history and incredibly joyous music. If you get the chance do not hesitate…GO AND SEE IT!!”
Owen Miller signs off with, “Overall, we want the audience to feel informed and uplifted with an evening of superb music. Did you know that UNESCO has designated Reggae Music ‘a global treasure’?”
You can see Rush - A Joyous Jamaican Journey at The Apex on Monday 28 February at 7.30pm. Ring the box office on 01284 758000 or see www.theapex.co.uk for more information or to book.