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Everything you need to know about ‘Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations’ in the West End

From how to get Ain’t Too Proud tickets to when to see Ain’t Too Proud in London, here’s your ultimate guide to Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations.

Sophie Thomas
Sophie Thomas

Get ready, cause here they come. The Temptations are set to take over the West End in the jukebox musical, Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations. After taking Broadway and the United States by storm, discover more about the Motown sensations in this hit musical. Ahead of seeing the Tony-winning musical in London, learn more about Ain’t Too Proud at the Prince Edward Theatre.

Book tickets to Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations on London Theatre.

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What is Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations about?

The Ain’t Too Proud musical follows the public and private lives of the "Classic Five" Temptations: Otis Williams, Melvin Franklin, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks, and David Ruffin. Even though the group became a hit Motown sensation, it wasn't easy for the quintet. Individually, their own vices inhibited their careers: drug addiction, violence, and alcoholism plagued their lives. But as Otis Williams takes audiences through a whistlestop tour of Motown history, you'll realise why the Temptations were some of the greatest artists around.

Where is Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations playing?

The Ain’t Too Proud West End performances are at the Prince Edward Theatre. The Prince Edward Theatre is a West End theatre located on Old Compton Street. Previous shows at the Prince Edward Theatre include Mary Poppins.

How long is Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations?

The Ain’t Too Proud musical running time is 2 hours and 30 minutes, including a 15-minute interval. Matinee performances will start at 2:30pm or 3:00pm and end at 5:00pm or 5:30pm respectively. Evening performances start at 7:30pm and end at 10:00pm.

What days is Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations playing?

Ain’t Too Proud plays eight performances a week at the Prince Edward Theatre. Matinee performances take place on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Evening performances take place daily from Tuesday to Saturday. For the complete performance schedule and show times, visit the Ain’t Too Proud page to learn more.

When did Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations premiere?

The Ain’t Too Proud journey to Broadway took many years. Ain’t Too Proud played California’s Berkeley Rep for an initial two-month engagement from 31 August to 8 Oct. 2017. Due to sell-ut performances and popularity, Ain’t Too Proud extended to 5 Nov. 2017.

The original Ain't Too Proud cast stars Derrick Baskin as Otis Williams, Jared Joseph as Melvin Franklin, Jeremy Pope as Eddie Kendricks, James Harkness as Paul Williams, and Ephraim Sykes as David Ruffin.

In 2018, Jawan M. Jackson took over the role of Melvin Franklin from Jared Joseph. Ain’t Too Proud then played regional performances in Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Toronto, before eventually opening at Broadway’s Imperial Theatre on 28 Feb. 2019. Ain’t Too Proud played to 16 Jan. 2022.

Who wrote Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations?

Dominique Morisseau made her musical writing debut for the Temptations musical Ain’t Too Proud. The multi-award-winning playwright’s works include the Detroit Project: a three-play cycle including Detroit ‘67, Paradise Blue, and the Tony-nominated play Skeleton Crew.

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Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations Characters

As Ain’t Too Proud is a jukebox musical about the Temptations, all "Classic Five" Temptations members are immortalised in the show. As well as the Temptations, there’s appearances from notable Motown figures like Berry Gordy, Diana Ross, Tammi Terrell, and Smokey Robinson. Find out more about the Temptations below.

Otis Williams: Born in 1941 in Texarkana, Texas, Otis Williams is the sole founding member of the Temptations who is alive today. Williams was one of the founding members who signed on to Motown Records in 1961 as “The Temptations.” Williams still performs with the Temptations today and owns the rights to the group’s name.

Melvin Franklin: Born in 1942 as David Melvin English in Montgomery, Alabama, Franklin performed as part of the Temptations for over 30 years. Diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at an early age, he took cortisone to continue performing, but subseqeuently developed multiple health conditions. Franklin died in 1995.

Eddie Kendricks: Born in 1939 in Union Springs, Alabama, Kendricks performed with the Temptations for over a decade. After leaving the group in 1973, Kendricks went solo with songs such as “Boogie Down” and “Shoeshine Boy.” Kendricks died in 1992.

Paul Williams: Born in 1939 in Ensley, Alabama, Paul Williams sung with the group for over a decade. Williams started out as the group’s original lead singer, before David Ruffins and Eddie Kendricks. Williams lived a trouble life: he was diagnosed with sickle-cell anaemia, and had failed business attempts and a solo career. Williams committed suicide in 1973.

David Ruffin: Born in 1941 in Whynot, Mississippi, David Ruffin took the space of Elbridge "Al" Bryant in the Temptations in 1964. At first, Ruffin sang background, but he was eventually put in the centre for songs such as “My Girl,” and the Rolling Stone hailed his voice as one of the greatest of all time. Ruffin died in 1991.

Who is in Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations?

The quintet of Temptations includes Tosh Wangho-Maud as David Ruffin, Sifiso Mazibuko as Otis Williams, Mitchell Zhangazha as Eddie Kendricks, Cameron Bernard Jones as Melvin Franklin, and Kyle Cox as Paul Williams. Find out more about the Ain't Too Proud London cast.

Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations Songs

The Temptations musical Ain’t Too Proud features plenty of the group’s top 10 hits, as well as chart-topping songs from artists of the times. During the show, listen out for Temptations tracks like “You’re My Everything” and “I Can’t Get Next To You,” as well as songs by the Supremes, Diana Ross, and The Undisputed Truth. Discover all the songs in Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations.

Act 1:

"The Way You Do The Things You Do”
"Runaway Child, Running Wild"
"Gloria"
"In The Still Of The Night"
"Speedo"
"Shout"
"I Want A Love I Can See"
"My Girl"
"Get Ready"
"You Can't Hurry Love"
"Come See About Me"
"Baby Love"
"Since I Lost My Baby"
"Ain't Too Proud To Beg"
"Don't Look Back"
"You're My Everything"
"If I Could Build My Whole World Around You"
"If You Don't Know Me By Now"
"(I Know) I'm Losing You"
"I Wish It Would Rain"
"I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)"

Act 2:

"I Can't Get Next To You"
"I'm Gonna Make You Love Me"
"War"
"Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today)"
"Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)"
"Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are)"
"For Once In My Life"
"Papa Was A Rollin' Stone" - Part 1
"Cloud Nine"
"Papa Was A Rollin' Stone" - Part 2
"What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted"
"I Can't Get Next To You"

What awards has Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations won?

Ain’t Too Proud received 12 Tony Award nominations in 2019, and was the second-most nominated production behind Hadestown. Many of the show’s stars were nominated alongside the creative team and a Best Musical nomination. The show even picked up a Grammy nomination too! Here’s all the major award nominations below, with wins in bold.

Tony Awards

Best Musical
Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical - Derrick Baskin as Otis Williams
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical - Jeremy Pope as Eddie Kendricks
Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical - Ephraim Sykes as David Ruffin
Best Book of a Musical - Dominique Morisseau
Best Direction of a Musical - Des McAnuff
Best Choreography - Sergio Trujillio
Best Scenic Design in a Musical - Robert Brill and Peter Nigrini
Best Costume Design in a Musical - Paul Tazewell
Best Lighting Design in a Musical - Howell Binkley
Best Sound Design of a Musical - Steve Canyon Kennedy
Best Orchestrations - Harold Wheeler

Grammy Awards

Best Musical Theater Album

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Major productions of Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations

Although Ain’t Too Proud started out in 2017, it’s definitely one of the must-see musicals of the century. Here’s how Ain’t Too Proud made its way to the West End.

2017: Ain’t Too Proud runs at Berkeley Rep from 31 August to 5 Nov. 2017. The show extends twice as a result of popularity.

2018: Ain’t Too Proud plays for one month at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC from 19 June to 22 Jul. 2018.

2018: Ain’t Too Proud returns to California, playing for one month at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles from 21 August to 30 Sept. 2018.

2018: Ain’t Too Proud opens in Canada, with one month of performances at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto from 11 October to 17 Nov. 2018.

2019: After regional productions, Ain’t Too Proud opens on Broadway in 2019. Previews begin on 28 February ahead of an opening night on 21 Mar. 2019. The show is then suspended from 12 Mar. 2020 to 15 Oct. 2021 due to the pandemic.

2021: Ain’t Too Proud reopens on Broadway on 16 October. The show runs for four months at the Imperial Theatre before closing on 16 Jan. 2022.

2021: The Ain’t Too Proud North America tour commences at the Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, North Carolina on 7 December. The tour continues through August 2023, ending in Ottawa, Canada.

2023: Ain’t Too Proud transfers to the West End. Performances begin at the Prince Edward Theatre on 31 March.

Fun facts about Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations

  • Broadway cast member Jawan M. Jackson played Melvin Franklin in Motown the Musical, and then again in Ain’t Too Proud. When he spoke to Playbill, Jackson said; “During Motown [The Musical] and playing him I did all my research, so having to come back I said, ‘I actually get to tell the story—give it its just due.” Jackson now performs as a real member of Temptations, joining the group in 2022.
  • Choreographer Sergio Trujillo is no stranger to jukebox musicals about American singers He previously worked on Jersey Boys, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, and the Gloria Estefan musical On Your Feet.
  • When Ain’t Too Proud premiered at Berkeley Rep, the Temptations musical was the best-selling show of all time for the California theatre.

How to get Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations tickets

Ain’t Too Proud will bring the Motown melodies to the West End in sensational style. Don’t just be tempted. Plan a 2023 theatre trip to see Ain’t Too Proud at the Prince Edward Theatre.

Book tickets to Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of the Temptations on London Theatre today.

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Photo credit: Ain’t Too Proud, Ain’t Too Proud on Broadway (Photos courtesy of production and by Matthew Murphy)

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