Keenan Munn-Francis is an actor and singer who has starred in Thriller Live and The Lion King and was singled out for praise by The Guardian newspaper reviewer for his performance as a young Marvin Gaye in the show, SOUL.
While he was at Havering Sixth Form, Keenan studied BTEC Creative Media Production (Audio Visual) and BTEC Music Technology, along with a Maths qualification. He left in 2014 to take up a major role in The Scottsboro Boys’ production in the West End.
He said at the time: “It’s brilliant performing in the West End. I love it. I’d like to do film and television in the future but I’d love to be in the West End for as long as possible.”
He sung and tap-danced in the show but when it came to an end, he moved on to play Simon in The Lord of the Flies at the Birmingham REP. He was then cast as a young Marvin Gaye in SOUL at the Hackney Empire and then at the Royal and Derngate Theatre, Northampton.
He received rave reviews for his acting and singing – the Telegraph newspaper stating, ‘the highlight of the night is the smooth-voiced Keenan Munn-Francis, who plays Gaye’s younger self, raising the roof early on with a brace of gospel and doo-wop numbers’. And the Guardian reviewer wrote, ‘Keenan Munn-Francis is deeply touching as the young Marvin’.
After SOUL he went on in 2017 to play Titus in Filthy Business at the Hampstead Theatre and was cast soon after in the smash-hit musical Five Guys Named Moe at the Marble Arch Theatre, playing Little Moe.
He performed in the UK premiere production of Our Lady of Kibeho which took to the Royal stage in Northampton in 2019. The play is set in 1981 in Rwanda and presents a haunting insight into the horrors and the true events that captured the world’s attention.