Motown the musical Icon

Shaftesbury Theatre

210 Shaftesbury Avenue WC2H 8DP

Motown - The Musical

Shaftesbury theatre 3D location mapMap ©Silvermaze Ltd 2008 Shaftesbury Theatre photoPhoto ©Tony Reading 2008

Show Details

Preview 11th Feb 16
Opens 8th Mar 16
Booking to 24th Feb 18

Show Times

Mon - Sat 7.30 pm
Matineé Thurs & Sat 2.30 pm

Length of show - 2hr 30min

Local Info

Top Class restaurants nearby;

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21 Monmouth Street
020 7836 7243

Loch Fyne (Fish & Seafood)
2 - 4 Catherine Street
020 7240 4999
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A classic viewing of all the Theatreland play houses by night. The authentic commentary, by Ben Shafik - a player himself - gives an authentic feel to the West End's theatres - and is backed by real music.
Next version will be more upbeat as, suggested, to celebrate Britannia's unbeatable heritage.
(Over 6000 viewings and all good reviews to date).
Let us know what you think.

A note from the author

I took these pictures to show off London theatres as they are seen -most often - by theatre goers, at night.

Thanks to Ben Shafik for his lighthearted and informative commentary and Fionn O'Lochlainn for the original music.

Watch out for the new version with current liveries and the names of the theatres as they appear.




It's about the music.
That's what the audience go to hear and be a part of.
We have the great singers and the musicians who track the original songs as closely as possible.The rest of the evening at the theatre is listening to as many tracks as The directors can squeeze in. Sometimes you get an almost medley feel. (A string of sausages in my somewhat light hearted disapprobation of medleys in general as chopping songs violates the composer) Anyway the musicians and actor singers do a great job of covering some truly Great songs in Berry's production.

Berry Goudy had something to say by writing the play about his life and dream. The catalogue of songs that followed in the wake of his activities was extremely large and you could be blown out by just one album and one artist out of a choice from over 30,000 songs.

Berry had to encourage, nurture, get great clothes and photographs made and filmed, make fine recordings, distributed internationally, for a start – All leading to rigourous choreography which is learned in the bones by repeated rehearsals. It's a tough course being groomed for fame.

What was Berry's dream?

Talking of the musical rather than the dream.
Did he want to make it for himself on his own account with the talent that he had? Or did he want to groom and launch a whole bunch of talented superstars. And furthermore start a veritable song factory for the whole of Motown to make their fame and fortunes therefrom.  

And be recognised for doing a whole lot of the right things to raise up an unprecedented number of  superstars with beauty in them and their songs.

Amid the tsunami of gold discs and much fame one might think Berry was able to amass a fortune. I maybe wrong but I'd wager, given the high quality and greatness of all the things he bought for the budding stars that it must've cost him a great deal to get the kids past his first pair of decent trousers.   When you google his pictures you can see his photographers and stylists didn't come cheap. It also gets very expensive keeping the momentum of so many big names speeding along.

Berry also had to be a great diplomat and continue to maintain harmony in the public eye. Imagine the cost of all that! All this as a time when black people were universally looked down upon. Now that pretty much everybody is looked down upon - the result is a level playing field that makes it easy for genres and races to join Spotify and its lookalikes. .Try standing out in THAT crowd as a new artist. In fact so hungry are the public for great music that bands only get gigs if they just play once loved oldies. 'Cover bands only' is the bookers' motto.

I hope Berry will start up a new song factory with original artists and new songs. Someone like Berry could start a revival of new rock, swing, melodies, good cheer and music that makes you want to be tender. That makes smile, sing along and dance. The modern quasi genres spitify and jazzify are SO  boring  - always going onanonanon. And on. Not a rapping foot in sight.

"Few can withstand the viciousness inherent in the rise to fame" That's a paraphrased version of some words on the subject spoken by Berry himself.

The people have spoken. "We want good music" that's why so many jukebox musicals succeed in selling seats. ITS ABOUT MUSIC.

Book  from here to get a proper decent seat. You CANT miss this one.


  • Cedric Neal - Berry Gordy
  • Lucy St. Louis - Diana Ross
  • Obioma Ugoala - Smokey Robinson
  • Sifiso Mazibuko - Marvin Gaye
  • Cameron Bernard Jones
  • Ryan Carter
  • KM Drew Boateng
  • Samuel Edwards
  • Dujonna Gift-Simms
  • Vanessa Fisher
  • Terique Jarrett
  • Cleopatra Joseph
  • Wilson Kiiru
  • Natasha Leaver
  • Brandon Lee Sears
  • Kieran McGinn
  • Simone Mistry-Palmer
  • Samuel Nicholas
  • Brianna Ogunbawo
  • Matt Overfield
  • Jay Perry
  • Timothy Quinlan
  • Simon Ray Harvey
  • Sharon Rose
  • Lawrence Rowe
  • Ashley Samuels
  • Carl Spencer
  • Richard Taylor Woods
  • Alex Thomas-Smith
  • Cherelle Williams
  • Michael Woolston-Thomas
  • Jayme-Lee Zanoncelli

  • Director - Charles Randolph-Wright
  • Design - David Korins
  • Lighting- Natasha Katz
  • Choreography - Patricia Wilcox and Warren Adams
  • Costume - Esosa
  • Sound - Peter Hylenski
  • Producer - Kevin McCollum, Doug Morris, Berry Gordy and Adam Spiegel
© 2017 Updated 10th Mar 2017