Shuck ‘n’ Jive
by Cassiopeia Berkeley-Agyepong and Simone Ibbett-Brown
“You do realise that your premier black woman role model was literally a puppet controlled by a white man, right?”
On arriving in London, aspiring opera singer Simone discovers that she’s traded an upbringing in BNP-era East Anglia for a career in classical music that feels too close to home for comfort.
Meanwhile, actress and chronic introvert Cassi is bemused by casting directors’ insistence on hearing the same Motown song at every audition as she battles it out for the illustrious roles of Sassy Friend, Spunky Slave, or Third Crack Whore From The Left.
Desperate to be seen as they are, not as the colour of their skin, they decide to take control and write their own story.
Shuck ‘n’ Jive follows two young women finding their place in the worlds of opera and musical theatre, in a tale that blends text, traditional songs and classical music to explore structural racism in UK performing arts.
Playtext and Performance rights
Shuck ‘n’ Jive is published by Oberon Modern Plays. The debut production at Soho Theatre featured two actors, but I’m so excited for all the reimaginings of the play with a cast of anything from 3 to 50 people.
Playtext – available here.
For amateur and professional performance rights – contact the writers.
2 – 26 October 2019
TANISHA SPRING | Cassi
OLIVIA ONYEHARA | Simone
CASSIOPEIA BERKELEY-AGYEPONG | Writer/Producer
SIMONE IBBETT-BROWN | Writer/Musical Director
LAKESHA ARIE-ANGELO | Director
DIANE ALISON-MITCHELL | Movement Director
RANYA EL REFAEY | Set, Costume and Video Designer
ANNA CLOCK | Sound Designer
JAI MORJARIA | Lighting Designer
GRACE LEWIS | Company Stage Manager
NADINE RENNIE | Casting Director
IAN TAYLOR | Production Manager
HOLLY DE ANGELIS | Producer (Soho Theatre)
Tristan Bates Theatre
13th/14th December 2018 | Rehearsed Reading as part of Blacktress Season
MERRYL ANSAH | Cassi
ESME LAUDAT | Simone
MARTHA POTHEN | Benny
SIMONE IBBETT-BROWN | Director
CASSIOPEIA BERKELEY-AGYEPONG | Producer