Respect for Edinburgh

Mar 13 2019 | By More

Aretha Franklin Songbook date for Playhouse

A new production of Respect: The Aretha Franklin Songbook staring Amber Riley and Mica Paris is to play the Playhouse on Sunday 24 March.

This will be one of only three dates ahead of a 60 venue tour which is being booked for this Autumn 2019. The show features 24 of Franklin’s greatest hits, a fraction of the over 112 singles she recorded over her 76 year life.

Jaki Graham, who will be appearing in RESPECT

The two hour production narrates Aretha Franklin’s life story through music and a series of links and video images. Born in Memphis in 1942 she was a pianist, singer and vocal activist for civil rights and women’s rights. She died in 2018.

Besides the Glee star Riley and R&B icon Paris, the production will feature nineties pop star Cleo Higgins and soul diva Jaki Graham, all accompanied by the Urban Soul Orchestra and the London Community Gospel Choir.

Producer Adrian Grant says that he had been thinking about producing a show around Aretha Franklin’s music for many years and that it now gives him the chance to honour her and her legacy.

He said: “Fans of all ages will love the musical journey we will take them on which spans over four decades of hits from Won’t Be Long released in 1960 to I Knew You Were Waiting, the number one duet with George Michael in 1987.

incredible tracks

“I’m so excited to be working with the outstanding singers and musicians we have lined up for this show. They will absolutely do Aretha’s music justice, and I myself cannot wait to hear them on stage delivering some of the most popular songs of all time!”

Amber Riley, who played Mercedes Jones in Glee and won the best actress in a musical Olivier in 2017 for her performance in DreamGirls, says Franklin has long been an idol of hers and she has singing her songs for as long as she can remember.

“Her songbook includes some incredible tracks,” says Riley. “A legacy of musical anthems that will never be matched and a divine talent that makes her a true icon. I can’t wait to get started and pay tribute to the one and only Queen of Soul.”

Jaki Graham, who had her own string of top 20 hits in the 1980s, says Franklin had a huge impact on her musical career and was one of her main influences.

She says: “From my school days of listening to Aretha on vinyl during free periods with my favourite teachers to hearing about her latest activist movements, she was always a force to be reckoned with both vocally and in spirit.

“Aretha always has been and always will be the true Queen of Soul. There will never be another like her and I’m honoured to be a part of a show that will keep the musical legacy of the irreplaceable Aretha Franklin and her music alive.”

Listings and Links

Respect: The Aretha Franklin Songbook
Playhouse, 18 – 22 Greenside Place, EH1 3AA.
Sunday 24 March 2019
Evening: 7.30pm
Details and tickets: Book here.

The 2019 Autumn tour will also play Glasgow:

Respect: The Aretha Franklin Songbook
Kings Theatre, 297 Bath St, Glasgow G2 4JN
Thursday 26 September 2019
Evening: 7.30pm
Details and tickets: Book here.


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