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Play On!

UK Tour

What does it take for a woman to make it in a man's world?

Meet Vy, a talented songwriter looking to make it big in the 1940's Harlem scene. She quickly learns from her uncle Jester that women will never be taken seriously in a man’s world. But, like many a strong hero, she refuses to accept defeat. Through her gender-fluid cunning, she meets club owner The Duke and sensational nightclub singer Lady Liv and is swept up in a syncopated symphony of melodies, mistaken identities and romance. Who will come out on top?

Play On! is set in the jazz scene of New York's Cotton Club. This stylish retelling of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, directed by Talawa’s Artistic Director Michael Buffong (A Kind of People, Royal Court; All My Sons, Talawa and Royal Exchange) fuses the thrilling music of Duke Ellington with street dance choreography. Prepare to be wowed by this musical spectacular that will have your toes tapping and hands clapping along to the timeless soundtrack.

Play On! was conceived by Sheldon Epps, has a book by Cheryl L.West, and is lead produced by Talawa with J. Clare Productions and Chuchu Ngawu Productions. Other co-producers include: The Belgrade Theatre Coventry, Birmingham Hippodrome, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and Wiltshire Creative.

The show is part of Talawa’s Black Joy season aiming to celebrate Black stories and creatives throughout 2024, and helping to produce new shows and support emerging writers and artists.

Play On! will tour the UK this Autumn, playing Belgrade Theatre (23rd Sept – 5th Oct), Liverpool Everyman (15th-19th Oct), Salisbury Playhouse (21st Oct – 2nd Nov), Birmingham Hippodrome (4th – 9th Nov), heading into 2025 playing the Bristol Old Vic (16th – 25th Jan), culminating with a run at London’s Lyric Hammersmith (28th Jan – 22nd Feb).

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