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Last updated: 09 December, 2005 - Published 15:08 GMT
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Classic Cliff movie hits the stage
Jimmy Cliff
Jimmy Cliff's role of Ivan Martin made him an international star
More than 30 years after its release, 'The Harder They Come' is to be remade for the London stage.

London's famed Theatre Royal they will reprise the classic movie for fans in early 2006.

Jan Ryan, the Managing Director of UK Arts Productions, whose co-producing the play, is excited about the project:

"It’s something I wanted to do since I saw the film back in the '70s. Then in 2003 I was in Jamaica and came into contact with the Henzell family. The following year I met Perry Heznell and that's when we decided we wanted to work together. "

Singing like Jimmy?

The auditions call for a young male competent in Jamaican patios, acting, dancing and singing. Ryan admits it will be hard for the chosen actor to follow in Jimmy Cliff’s vocal shadow:

"I don't think we're trying to reproduce what Jimmy did - that was amazing. He made the role his own, but we are looking for a guy who will hopefully have the same success out of doing the stage version as Jimmy did with the film.”

Jan revealed that Perry Henzell, the movie's original producer, director and writer has re-written the original script for this production

"Obviously when you’re doing a film, it’s a very different genre from doing a theatre piece; you don't have the luxury of panning in on individual characters. You also don't have the luxury of moving from location almost instantaneously.

“In that respect its been quite a challenging process to move the script from one that works so fantastically on film to one that works equally in a theatre setting.”

However, Jimmy Cliff is not involved in the production.

"No he's not, sadly,” she admits. “We haven't talked him about this at all."

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