The Jazz Age brings the London jazz scene to The Playground
The Jazz Age, showing from 2-19 October 2019; will bring the London Jazz scene to The Playground Theatre. The UK premier will feature three of London’s top jazz musicians: Darren Berry, Rebekah Bouche and João Mello. Set between 1920 and 1940, in Paris and in New York; the music will take the audience along the pathway of jazz itself. The delight for jazz novices or veterans does not stop there. Our three musicians will perform live on stage with a formidable cast of three actors. Theatre heavy-weights: Robert Boulter, Hannah Tointon and Jack Derges (F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Sayre and Ernest Hemingway respectively), accompany authentic jazz songs and music as their lives unfold before us.
Fans of London jazz venues that play pre-WWII music such as the Jamboree, Limehouse, the Jago, Dalston, Le Quecumbar, Battersea or Kansas Smitty’s, Broadway Market; will appreciate the unique arrangement of songs and music that have been composed for The Jazz Age.
More about Darren Berry
Darren Berry has collaborated with Anthony Biggs, director of The Jazz Age; before in a play called The Paradise Circus. Darren plays the ukulele, and the violin. He is also a member of the Penguin Cafe, an ensemble of jazz musicians brought together by Arthur Jeffes in 2009. Darren composed original music for The Paradise Circus which was set in America just after WWI. Audiences for The Paradise Circus were mesmerised by the production. It featured live violin, ukulele and even tap dancing performances from Darren. Berry will be composing and arranging original jazz music for The Jazz Age. He will also be performing live on stage during the play – we can’t wait.
More about Rebekah Bouche
Rebekah Bouche joins The Jazz Age musical collaboration having travelled along some of the original routes of jazz itself. Her journey started with the Early Blues of the Southern States, the Old Time of the Appalachian mountains, with elements of folk music from around the British Isles; and European classical music. A double bass player, much of her work is a as a part of the UK’s Appalachian scene. This is mixed with a broad collective of musicians that play the Delta Blues of artists like Memphis Minnie and Robert Johnson. This collective includes João Mello. If you follow the path of jazz music, and the Mississippi; you inevitably end up in New Orleans. This is where Rebekah has spent time busking. Whilst in that swampy place, she picked up tunes and blues which bubble into traditional jazz. In working with Darren and João on music for The Jazz Age, Rebekah brings the authentic sound of jazz in its emergent, Southern form. At this time jazz was still steeped in Gospel, Jug, Old Time and Rhythm and Blues. These early jazz sounds come from the street corners and dive bars where Rebekah learnt to play it.
More about João Mello
João Mello is a jazz musician and singer that plays saxophone, keyboard and high-strung acoustic guitar. He is well-known in the London jazz scene performing in clubs such as the Jamboree, Limehouse, and the Jago, Dalston. João has toured and performed with guitarist, singer song-writer David Gilmour (formerly of Pink Floyd). João enriches our collective of The Jazz Age musicians and singers.
More about The Jazz Age
The Jazz Age was written by playwright Allan Knee and is a UK premiere. Knee’s new play fuses jazz music, literature and art. It is about American writers: Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre. It is set in an era of time referred to as ‘The Jazz Age’. Scott, Sayre and Hemingway where a literary ménage à trois, that burned up the world in a fury of passion, friendship and beauty encapsulating The Jazz Age.
The Jazz Age cast
The Jazz Age cast includes accomplished actors from theatre, TV and film. Robert Boulter cast as F. Scott Fitzgerald (Casualty, The Bill, Herons The Royal Court, Mercenaries, The Inheritance The Young Vic). Hannah Tointon cast as Zelda Sayre (The Inbetweeners, Mr. Selfridge, Hollyoaks, The Festival). Jack Derges cast as Ernest Hemingway (EastEnders, Doctors, The Royals, WPC 56).
The Jazz Age performance information
The Jazz Age is showing from 2-19 October. The play runs for approximately two hours with an interval. There are no Sunday performances. The play starts at 7.30pm. There are Saturday matinees on 5, 12 and 19 October which start at 2.30pm. The Jazz Age is suitable for people aged 12+. The Jazz Age will be enjoyed by Music, History and English GCSE students because of its subject matter and setting.
The Jazz Age will be directed by Anthony Biggs, the executive producer is Amanda Waggott, the casting director was Ann Vosser.