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Talawa's Play On! offers a different Twelfth Night


Poster for Talawa Theatre's Play On!

Taking audiences back to the vibrant jazz scene of 1940s New York, Play On! is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night from British Black theatre company Talawa, arriving at Liverpool Playhouse in October (15-19).

Talawa is a Playhouse associate company; the show is part of its Black Joy 2024 season, providing opportunities for talent to collaborate on a large-scale production and tour. Conceived by Sheldon Epps and with a book by Cheryl L West, the production supports a Liverpudlian artist of Afro-Caribbean descent in creating new work delving into Liverpool’s rich musical history

Playhouse and Everyman CEO Mark Da Vanzo said: “We’re thrilled to be announcing our part in the Black Joy season. With a joyous jazz musical set in New York's Cotton Club at its heart, and the opportunity to commission a local artist from the global majority, this collaboration truly serves our ambitions to ensure a diversity of talent and stories on our stages.”

Directed by Talawa’s artistic director Michael Buffong (A Kind of People, Royal Court; All My Sons, Talawa and Royal Exchange), the show fuses the music of Duke Ellington with street dance choreography.

Buffong said: “As a Black theatre company we are determined to spotlight and celebrate great Black British talent, on and off stage. We hope this season will bring joy wherever it goes…”

The show will tour the UK this year and early 2025, starting at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry in September, before Liverpool, then on to Salisbury Playhouse, Birmingham Hippodrome and the Bristol Old Vic, with further dates to be added.


More info and tickets here


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