A brand-new production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ – the first London revival in almost 25 years – will play Southwark Playhouse from 19 April 2019 to 1 June, following its premiere at Mercury Theatre Colchester from 15-30 March. The Fats Waller musical will be directed by Tyrone Huntley, making his directorial debut, and choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing’s Oti Mabuse.
Celebrating the legendary jazz musician Waller and his energetic, exuberant and effervescent music, Ain’t Misbehavin’ steps back into the 1920s and the raunchy nightclubs of Manhattan. An extraordinary group of performers go on a journey through a defining period of American musical history, the Harlem Renaissance – where musicians were free to experiment with new styles, and joints were jumpin’ with talented dancers, singers and instrumentalists jamming to a new beat known as swing.
Tyrone Huntley is best known for his acclaimed performance as Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, for which he won the Evening Standard Theatre Award and received an Olivier Award nomination. Huntley is soon to appear in Leave to Remain at the Lyric Hammersmith with other performing credits including Angry (Southwark Playhouse) and Dreamgirls (Savoy Theatre).
Oti Mabuse, making her debut as a theatre choreographer, is best known as a professional dancer on BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing since 2015. She is also an eight-time South African Latin American Champion and one of the most successful South African dancers in the world. Mabuse is currently a Dance Captain and Mentor on BBC1’s new Saturday night dance and entertainment show The Greatest Dancer.
Ain’t Misbehavin’ first premiered at Manhattan Theatre Club in 1978 and transferred to Broadway the same year, where it won the Tony Award for Best Musical. The original West End production opened at Her Majesty’s Theatre in 1979, and was followed by a revival at the Tricycle Theatre and Lyric Theatre in 1995. This new production will mark the first London revival in almost 25years.
Ain’t Misbehavin’ is presented by Paul Taylor-Mills and Mercury Theatre Colchester in association with Tamasha Theatre Company. Casting and further creative team details are to be announced.