About The Show
A thrilling exposé of the darker side of 1980’s New York, The Life is a defiant and heartfelt musical about Times Square before it was cleaned up. A world of pimps and prostitutes, innocents and opportunists, it’s a gutsy and gritty joyride filled with both pathos and fun.
Queen, a young girl from Savannah, and Fleetwood, a Vietnam vet with a drug habit, are trying to make it in a merciless New York. Queen is forced into part-time prostitution and ‘The Life’ describes how these two lovers move through this dark world until Queen is helped by her one true friend, an older more experienced hooker, Sonja to make her escape.
On this journey, we meet Memphis, the all-powerful king pimp, the girls he controls, Jojo the hustler, who makes it all happen, and the fresh-faced Mary, straight off the bus from small town Minnesota, only too eager to embrace ‘The Life’.
The original critically acclaimed Broadway production of The Life, opened on 26 April 1997 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. It received 12 Tony Award nominations, winning Best Featured Actress and Actor in a Musical for cast members Lillias White and Chuck Cooper. The Life was also nominated for 9 Drama Desk Awards, winning three, including Best Musical.
Twenty years after it opened on Broadway, the Tony-award winning hit musical THE LIFE by Cy Coleman (City of Angels, Sweet Charity, Barnum), Ira Gasman and David Newman, enjoyed a triumphant London premiere at Southwark Playhouse in a new production directed by two-time Tony Award winner Michael Blakemore
The show received stupendous reviews and an impressive 5 off West End Theatre Award nominations, of which it won four: Best Musical Production, Best Female Performance in a Musical – T’Shan Williams, Best Supporting Female Performance in a Musical - Sharon D. Clarke and Best Supporting Male Performance in a Musical Cornell S. John.
MAIL ON SUNDAY
THE SUNDAY TIMES
MUSICAL THEATRE REVIEW
LONDON THEATRE 1
THE REVIEWS HUB
John Addison David Albury Jalisa Andrews
Matthew Caputo Lawrence Sharon D. Clarke
Omari Douglas Aisha Jawando Cornell S. John
Thomas Charlotte Reavey Jo Servi
Lucinda Shaw Johnathan Tweedie T'Shan Williams
'A gut-churning story of drugs and defiance'
'A superbly sung, rousing, raucous revival’
David Newman, Ira Gasman and Cy Coleman
David Adkin Limited
Set & Costume Designer
Amy Anzel & Matt Chisling
Tom Jackson Greaves