Lyric Hammersmith

King Street, Lyric Square, London, W6 0QL GB

Play On!

Play On! Tickets

  • Opens: Wednesday, 29 January 2025
    Booking until: Saturday, 22 February 2025
  • Running time: 2hr 30 mins. Incl 1 interval.
Tickets from £18.00
  • Tickets refunded if your event is cancelled
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Play On! in London

It’s Shakespeare, but not as we know it! This fresh musical adaptation of the Bard’s Twelfth Night features Duke Ellington’s beautiful jazz music, a super-stylish revival created by the UK’s respected Black theatre company Talawa. An un-missable combination.

Will feisty Vy win over the male-led 1940s Harlem jazz scene?

Vy’s dreams almost fall apart when her uncle Jester reveals women can never be taken seriously in the jazz scene. But Vy won’t give up. She refuses to accept defeat and by cleverly concealing her gender, and manages to meet the club’s owner The Duke and his awesome nightclub singer Lady Liv. Swept up in a syncopated symphony of melodies, mistaken identities and romance, will Vy see her dreams of fame come to reality?

Shakespeare would be thrilled to see his play re-imagined this way. It joins sensations like the movie She’s the Man, a 2006 football movie adaptation of Twelfth Night, and West Side Story, and adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. 10 Things I Hate About You is a modernised version of The Taming of the Shrew. And of course the Lion King mirrors the story of Hamlet. Five hundred years later, his plots still have an impact.

Duke Ellington’s beautiful score and more

And so to the music. Duke Ellington was given a posthumous Pulitzer Prize Special Award for music in 1999, having won 13 Grammys over his 30 year career in jazz. A 14th Grammy was awarded after his death. As you can imagine the score for this musical is simply heavenly.

The playwright, Cheryl L.West, won the American Alliance For Theatre and Education Distinguished Play Award, Charlotte B. Chorpenning Playwright Award, and Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. The original theatre production was conceived by Sheldon Epps.

This time around Play On! is directed by Michael Buffong (All My Sons, A Kind of People), named one of Creative Review's 50 Creative Leaders and the artistic director of Talawa Theatre Company since 2011.

How about the history of Play On?

Premiering in San Diego during ’96, the show moved to Broadway in 1997, going on to win three nominations at the 51st Tony Awards. The original cast recording, released the same year, was nominated for 3 Tonys, a Drama Desk award and a Drama league award. A 1999 US production was recorded for the PBS series Great Performances.

The musical sits at the heart of Talawa’s Black Joy season, a partnership between Talawa, Olivier Award-winning J Clare Productions and Chuchu Ngawu Productions. It celebrates Black stories and creatives throughout the year, helping produce new shows and support emerging writers and artists.

Produced by Talawa Theatre Company and The Belgrade Theatre Coventry, and co-produced with the Birmingham Hippodrome, Bristol Old Vic, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and Wiltshire Creative, we’re delighted to see this wonderful visual and aural feast in the West End.

Set in 1980s Notting Hill, Play On brings a fresh and culturally rich perspective to a classic tale, celebrating diversity and the enduring relevance of Shakespeare's work.

Play On! Official Theatre Tickets

Our central reservation system connects you directly to the Lyric Hammersmith box office system. We provide live & full availability for Play On! tickets, from VIP and premium, to top price and discount tickets, helping you choose the perfect tickets for your budget. Pick your seats from our interactive seating plan and get your theatre tickets emailed to you instantly after your booking. Simply present your e-tickets at the door on the day and experience what London & the West End have best to offer: the magic of theatre. Buying tickets for Play On! has never been easier.

Play On! Ticket Information

  • Opens:

    Wednesday, 29 January 2025

  • Booking until:

    Saturday, 22 February 2025

  • Running time:

    2hr 30 mins. Incl 1 interval.

  • Age restrictions

    Ages 12+.

  • Cancellations & Refunds

    Once booked, tickets to Play On! are usually non exchangeable and non refundable as per our terms & conditions. In practice, however, we will do our best to accommodate your request as long as we are notified at least 48 hours before the performance. Please contact us for more information.

Next Performances for Play On! at the Lyric Hammersmith

Wednesday 29th Jan 2025 7:30pm from £24.00
Thursday 30th Jan 2025 7:30pm from £24.00
Saturday 1st Feb 2025 2:30pm from £18.00 7:30pm from £18.00
Monday 3rd Feb 2025 7:30pm from £18.00
Tuesday 4th Feb 2025 7:30pm from £18.00
Wednesday 5th Feb 2025 2:30pm from £30.00 7:30pm from £18.00

Play On! cheap tickets

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