Jazz legend Nina’s life intertwined with contemporary culture in Bethnal Green play

AFTER a sell-out run at south-east London’s Brockley Jack Theatre last year, a show chronicling the life of jazz legend and civil rights campaigner is coming to Bethnal Green with a new cast.

Written and directed by Laura McCluskey, the play intertwines the lives of music legend Nina Simone and young, contemporary singer Shazne as they battle against violence and race in order to achieve their dreams.

Inspired by Nina Simone’s extraordinary life, McCluskey’s script parallels the prejudice Simone suffered with Shaz’s attempts to move away from the gang culture that surrounds her.

As aspiring singers both women find that their love and passion for music gives them the confidence to speak out and succeed, despite all obstacles.

The two stories are presented with a rich backdrop of new arrangements of Simone classics, contemporary club tunes and a specially composed song for Shaz.


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Nina and Shaz is on at Rich Mix in Bethnal Green Road tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets cost �10-�12 from www.richmix.org.uk or 020 7613 7498.

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