One Love: The Bob Marley Musical is currently running at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre. Set across a dramatic period in the music legend’s life, the production written and directed by Kwame Kwei-Armah, tells the story of a man propelled from rising reggae star to global icon. With unprecedented access to the entire Bob Marley catalogue, the musical features Marley’s greatest songs performed live by the cast.
Mitchell Brunings will make his UK stage debut as Bob Marley alongside Alexia Khadime who will play Rita Marley. Alexia’s major West End roles include Nabulungi in The Book of Mormon (for which she won the 2014 What’s On Stage Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical), Eponine in Les Misérables, Elphaba in Wicked and Nala in The Lion King. Most recently she played the lead in Hackney Empire’s 2016 pantomime Sleeping Beauty. Her screen roles include London Road and Les Misérables.
Ms. Khadime took a quick break from rehearsals to speak to #TBB10
1# Rita Marley, what big boots to fill! How did approach portraying such a renowned person?
I started with reading her book and researching online, so I could get more info about Rita. Then the rest was talking and rehearsing with Kwame who’s just fantastic.
2# When this role opportunity came up did you jump at the chance or did you have any reservations?
To be honest I didn’t think I was going to be Rita. What I did think was a Bob Marley musical could be something amazing. His music is one that very much so is linked with my childhood and evokes many fond memories.
3# As much as the general story of Bob Marley is generally known, how much did you know much about the finer details, and the legacy of Rita, and how have you connected to the character?
I knew general bits but through the rehearsal process have learnt so much more. Before we actually got on our feet to rehearse this show we did table work, where we would get. to the deeper layers as it were. Kwame again is a book of knowledge and helped with that.
4# What’s it been like working with someone as legendary as Kwame Kwei-Armah?
Firstly, it’s been a blessing to work with Kwame. It’s been truly wonderful. I love the way he works and how open and honest his work is. It allows you as the actor to truly let go and find these real life characters. He’s full of information and inspiring to say the least. Pure joy to work with Kwame.
5# Give us a general overview of One Love: The Bob Marley Musical and what audiences can expect from this production?
One love is the story of the legendary Reggae superstar Bob Marley. Set in a time where Jamaica, Bob’s homeland was on the brink of civil war, Bob is called to help to unite the people with his music.
6# Your career has included some memorable roles, Nala in Lion King, Elphaba in Wicked, your award winning role in Book of Mormon… when you reflect on your journey which of your roles have been the most validating?
My I think career wise the biggest shift was Elphaba in Wicked, but all these roles have all played such a big part, and I appreciate and truly enjoyed them all.
7# You’re a mezzo Soprano… what does that mean and which vocal range is the most popular / highly requested for getting roles in Musical theatre? Or do you just have to be able to sing?
Mezzo sopranos tend to have that high belt voice. All voices are needed for musical theatre. Whether you are soprano or a baritone. Also with newer musical theatre shows coming in, different genres of music have become a requirement, which I think is really fab and reflecting the times.
8# How much time do you dedicate to training your voice for acting and singing?
I have singing lessons and acting lessons to keep me fresh. You never stop learning.
9# After One Love do you have your next project lined up?
At the moment, not things I can talk about but all updated are on my site www.alexiakhadime.com.
10# Name your favourite Bob Marley song?
One of my favourites is Waiting in Vain and lucky enough I get to sing it in the show. But there’s just so many good Bob tunes and when you start thinking about them, they really are fab and transport you to a time in your life. I love his music.
One Love: The Bob Marley Musical is at Birmingham Repertory Theatre until April 15th 2017. To find out more and book your tickets go to the Birmingham Rep website.