Sunday, July 14

Rush – Floral Pavilion

Not your average theatre show, Rush brought a taste of Jamaica to New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion on Saturday night – billed as a joyous Jamaican journey, did it deliver?

Narrated by witty stand-up comedian John Simmit, this is an uplifting tale of Jamaican history and the story of the ever-inspiring Windrush generation, peppered with an array of music from the nation over the years. There were plenty of tunes from Aswad, Bob Marley, Desmond Dekker and more performed by a talented band, alongside lead singers IKA and Janice Williamson whose voices were enough to stun the lively audience into silence at times.

That silence didn’t last long, however. From uproarious laughter to dancing in the aisles, the crowd lapped up every moment of the show – especially the political moments, of which there were many. Taking us on a journey from Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” of Jamaica right through to the present day, via the first Notting Hill Carnival and a ‘70s Jamaican family living room, John and the rest of the team did a superb job of showcasing the magic of this diaspora.

Music is something that has always united people, and Rush is a perfect example of how you can showcase a country’s history in a positive and truly joyous way despite any obstacles that might have stood in the way over the years.

‘A people without knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots’. Marcus Garvey coined these words, and they were a prevalent theme throughout the show; it’s a vibrant approach to education, and a fine example of celebrating a culture that has given so much of itself to so many. From the (seasoned) food that we eat to the music we dance to in nightclubs, there is a touch of Jamaica throughout the UK and a huge part of that is thanks to the Windrush generation.

This is a show you will walk away from having learnt something, having danced (or toe-tapped) your heart out, and having laughed along from start to finish.

Reviewer: Katy Gilroy

Reviewed: 18th May 2024

North West End UK Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.