In London at The Theatro Technis Theatre in Camden, on 29 October the theatre will begin a one week run of a show called “Renew Ya Hallelujah” written by well-known author and playwright Teddy Hayes. What is very interesting about this play is that it is being brought back by popular demand.
Originally produced at the Theatre Royal Stratford East in 1997, this show played to full houses and very strong reviews. At the time no one had seen a Gospel musical presented such dynamic social issues and music that included hip hop Gospel and that is still true even until today.
Teddy Hayes says “even though we received very good reviews from everyone one that saw the play, the work was never developed because the thinking among the producing team at the time was that Gospel music was for a strictly church going audience and also that theatre audiences would not respond positively to hip hop music. As a result they reasoned that the play would not have a wide reach to justify touring.
But since then there has been an explosion of interest in Gospel Choir music from the secular side as well as the fact that the run a way hit show “Hamilton” has shown that tastes have changed and that audiences have definitely warmed to both Gospel and hip hop if presented properly. Because the story is about a family dealing with issues that could affect us all the show is timeless and is as relevant now as when it was written. The only difference is now it seemed that the public mind has caught up with the ideas I had when I wrote the play”.
The Voice newspaper wrote in a review of the play “It is rare to see a musical in which all the essential elements are in harmony”, and highly recommended it.
Volney Morgan and the New Ye Choir will appear onstage in the play as well as on the official recorded version of the songs as well as promotional YouTube videos. Their performance of two songs from the show “Renew Ya Hallelujah” featuring Coco Malone is stunning and Volney Morgan’s vocal performance on “Heart of Stone” is powerful and touching and in the same high quality vocal category as the late d soul singing legends Teddy Pendergrass or David Ruffin.
The songs from the play will be available on YouTube so that by the time the audience start showing up in October to see the play they will know some of the songs.
Teddy Hayes has also engaged the talents of show business veteran David Cameron as Director/Choreographer. David is best known for his role as Associate Director and Choreographer for the Cameron McIntosh’s West End and Broadway hit production of “Five Guys named Moe”.
So for those interested in something different and dynamic, “Renew Ya Hallelujah” just might be just what the doctor ordered.
Tickets sent on sale on 16th May. There are early bird as well as groups’ discounts for early advance purchasers. For more information visit the website at www.teddyhayesproductions.com