Rudy’s Rare Records is a tiny, on its last breath, reggae and ska record shop in Birmingham. It is one of a dying breed, a place with real soul and stacked with piles of vinyl where the slogan is “If we don’t have it – them don’t mek it.” Unfortunately, much like Championship Vinyl in High Fidelity, Rudy’s is in danger of being the last of its kind. Art imitates life as greedy developers threaten to ruin the livelihoods of both Rudy, the bad-tempered owner, and his son.
Created by Lenny Henry with original scripts by Danny Robins and Dan Tetsell, Rudy’s Rare Records ran for four series and 20 episodes on BBC Radio 4 from 2008-2012. Beginning 1 September 2014, Rudy’s Rare Records will be making the leap to the live stage with performances at the Hackney Empire Theatre in East London. Rudy and his son battle to save their eccentric business by putting aside their differences and joining forces to keep the music alive. The stage version of Rudy’s Rare Records will also feature a live band who will play reggae, ska, funk and hip hop classics.
Since ending his run as Gareth Blackstock, the tyrannical chef/owner of the Le Chateau Anglais, in Chef, Lenny Henry has been no stranger to live stage. He won the Evening Standard Best Newcomer Award for his portrayal of Othello and recently completed a West End season as Troy Maxson in August Wilson’s Fences, for which he is currently nominated for a WhatsOnStage Award.
Rudy’s Rare Records is an idea very close to Lenny Henry’s heart. The idea of doing a ‘father and son’ comedy where young and old can learn things about each other and about their situation. will run for three weeks beginning 1 September 2014 prior to a UK tour.