The Harder They Come

The Harder They Come

Barbican Theatre

A Theatre Royal Stratford East and UK Arts Production
The Harder They Come
Revival supported by barbicanbite08

Thursday 6 March – Saturday 5 April 2008
Press night: Tuesday 11 March, 7.45pm

The Barbican gives London audiences another chance to catch the musical magic of The Harder They Come following two sell-out runs at Theatre Royal Stratford East last year and in 2006. Following the Barbican run The Harder They Come visits Birmingham Hippodrome (Friday 11 – Sunday 13 April).

The Harder They Come is based on the groundbreaking 1972 eponymous film that starred Jimmy Cliff and introduced reggae to a worldwide audience. Young singer Ivan Martin heads to Kingston with dreams of becoming a reggae star, but the harsh reality of the Jamaican music scene drives him to a fast and furious life as an outlaw.

The cast, including Rolan Bell and Joanna Francis, both of whom performed in the 2006 and 2007 stagings, perform all the classic songs from the film soundtrack including You Can Get It If You Really Want and By The Rivers of Babylon, accompanied by a live reggae band. Written by the late Perry Henzell, co-writer, director and producer of the original film, The Harder They Come is a high-energy production that marks a defining moment in Jamaican culture.

The Harder They Come is directed by Kerry Michael and Dawn Reid. Design is by Ultz and choreography is by Jackie Guy.

To complement the stage production, Barbican Film presents Film Jamaica (Wednesday 12 – Sunday 30 March), a season of Jamaican cinema celebrating the island’s rich musical heritage. Film Producer Justine Henzell, daughter of Perry Henzell who died in 2006, introduces the opening screening of the original film version of The Harder They Come on Wednesday 12 March at 8.30pm.

In addition dub poet Linton Kwesi Johnson (otherwise known as LKJ) performs in the Barbican Hall on Sunday 9 March at 7.30pm. Sharing the stage with Dennis Bovell’s Dub Band, Winston Francis, Jean ‘Binta’ Breeze and Shirley Thompson, LKJ heads up a night that combines powerful words and deep reggae grooves.


A Theatre Royal Stratford East and UK Arts Production
The Harder They Come at the Barbican

Venue: Barbican Theatre
Dates and time:
Thursday 6 March – Saturday 5 April 2008, 7.45pm
Also 2.30pm on 8, 15, 22 & 29 March and 2 & 5 April
No performances Sundays
Press night: Tuesday 11 March, 7.45pm
Tickets: £10.00 – £30.00 (All tickets £5.00 on 2 April, 2.30pm)
Running time: 170 minutes including interval
Captioned performance: 29 March, 2.30pm
Sign interpreted performance: 22 March, 2.30pm
Age guidance: 12+. Contains some strong language

Post show talk
Date: Tuesday 18 March
Tickets: Free to same day ticket holders

Members of the creative team in conversation

Barbican box office 0845 120 7550
9.00am – 8.00pm Monday – Saturday; 11.00am – 8.00pm Sundays and Bank Holidays

In order to monitor the Box Office telephone numbers used by the public, we have set up a tracking exercise. We are publicising different numbers for different types of print (ie editorial, advertising, direct mail). Please help us with our tracking research by printing 0845 120 7550 as the box office/information number in all editorial.

Tickets to all bite events can now be booked 24 hours a day with Barbican’s secure online ticketing system:

Bite multi-buy save 10% when buying tickets for three or more performances in the bite season in the same transaction.
Barbican Arts Partners (BAP): 25% off ticket price.
Barbican Members (Barbican Theatre): 20% off all performances, maximum two tickets.
Groups of ten or more: 20% off ticket price.
Students: 50% off ticket price on Wednesday evenings. Advance booking necessary. Proof of eligibility must be shown.
Families: 50% off ticket price for up to three under 16s with each full paying adult.
Members of the Barbican Access Membership Scheme may be eligible for discounts. Please contact the box office for full details.
Schools (Barbican Theatre): £12.00 Stalls, £8.00 Circle.
All discounts are subject to availability and cannot be combined to make greater saving.

A Theatre Royal Stratford East and UK Arts Production
The Harder They Come at Birmingham Hippodrome

Venue: Birmingham Hippodrome
Dates and time:
Friday 11 – Sunday 13 April 2008, 7.30pm
Also 2.30pm on Saturday 12 April
Press night: Friday 11 March, 7.30pm
Tickets: £10.00 – £25.00

Birmingham Hippodrome box office 0870 730 1234 or National call rate applies; 6% transaction fee, 3% online

For further information about the Barbican run of The Harder They Come contact
Angela Dias, Media Relations Manager – bite on 020 7382 7168 or email or Ella Minton, Media Relations Assistant – bite on 020 7638 4141 x7728 or email Visit

For further information about the Birmingham run of The Harder They Come contact
Mandy Rose, Press and PR Officer 0121 689 3069 or email

For further information about Film Jamaica please contact Sarah Harvey on 020 7703 2253 or email

For further information about LKJ please contact Alex Webb, Media Relations Manager – Contemporary Music on 020 7382 6199 or email

Region: All
Start Date: 06/03/2008
End Date: 05/04/2008
Start Time: 19:45
Venue: Barbican Theatre
Venue Address: Silk Street, London
Press Tickets: Available
Sponsorship: Not Available
Press Tickets:
Name: Ella Minton