News Story

Talawa, the UK’s outstanding Black theatre company, has announced Black Joy 2024, a season of theatre and workshops celebrating Black stories and artists.

We are thrilled to be a co-producer of a new jazz musical, Play On!. This exciting production epitomises the ethos of Talawa’s Black Joy season and will come to Salisbury Playhouse in October 2024.

Play On! is a joyous retelling of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and vividly brings to life the 1940s New York jazz scene, set to a timeless, toe-tapping Duke Ellington soundtrack.

In the Cotton Club, New York City, a young songwriter arrives ready to make her name – but disguising herself as a man will give her a better shot in a male-dominated music world. As she meets club owner The Duke and sensational singer Lady Liv, Vy is swept up in a syncopated symphony of melodies, mistaken identities, and romance.

This exciting jazz musical is conceived by Sheldon Epps, with a book by Cheryl L. West and is directed by Talawa’s Artistic Director, Michael Buffong.

Play On! is co-produced by Talawa Theatre Company; Wiltshire Creative, Salisbury; Belgrade Theatre, Coventry; Birmingham Hippodrome; Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres; and Lyric Hammersmith Theatre.

Talawa, Wiltshire Creative and other partners are proud that Play On! will provide opportunities for emerging and mid-career global majority talent to work on a large-scale production and tour, addressing under-representation in the sector through an Associate Programme, and supporting Talawa’s commitment to champion global majority actors and creatives.

The six Play On! partners, including Wiltshire Creative, are committed to supporting Black artists to create theatre across the country and, therefore, will participate in the Seed Commission Programme with each partner commissioning an emerging global majority artist and supporting them in creating new work.

We are delighted to work as a Black Joy partner and co-producer of Play On! which will open at Salisbury Playhouse in October 2024.

This exciting production will go on sale soon, so stay tuned!