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The legendary Josephine Baker dances again

Josephine, a new play about the iconic entertainer, spy and civil rights activist Josephine Baker, is at Z-arts in Manchester for two performances on March 19.

Aimed at audiences aged eight and over and using original music and dance, the show follows the performer's journey from the oppressive slums of St Louis to the bright lights of Paris and beyond.

Playwrights Leona Allen and Jesse Briton are of a generation that hasn't really heard of the famous cabaret artist, and decided to put that right: “When we stumbled across her story we were amazed at how she could have done so much, and that we hadn't heard of her.

“We wrote Josephine to answer our questions and inspire a new generation to reimagine their relationship with the past.”

Born in St Louis in 1906, Baker performed in chorus lines in New York before sailing to Paris in 1925, where she found fame and won legions of admirers - including Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso.

She was the first Black woman to star in a major film and became a French national, raising 12 internationally-adopted children in the process. She aided the French Resistance during the war and afterwards was part of the American civil rights movement.

Josephine is a co-production by The Egg Bath, Wales Millennium Centre and Oxford Playhouse.


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