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Classic songs tell the story of four lives in east London production

PUBLISHED: 18:00 18 April 2014

Lt-Rt: Paulette Ivory (The Woman) , Clive Rowe (The Man), Sharon D Clarke (The Lady) and Gemma Sutton (The Girl), Blues in the Night, Directed by Susie McKenna, at the Hackney Empire, Thurs 24 April - Sun 4 May 2014, Box office: 0208 985 2424, www.hackneyempire.co.uk

Lt-Rt: Paulette Ivory (The Woman) , Clive Rowe (The Man), Sharon D Clarke (The Lady) and Gemma Sutton (The Girl), Blues in the Night, Directed by Susie McKenna, at the Hackney Empire, Thurs 24 April - Sun 4 May 2014, Box office: 0208 985 2424, www.hackneyempire.co.uk

Marilyn Kingwill

An atmospheric show set in 1930s Chicago is coming to the Hackney Empire later this month.

Blues in the Night, a much-loved Broadway production, has been reimagined after years of dormancy by the theatre’s creative director, Susie McKenna.

East End native Paulette Ivory, who has achieved international fame on Broadway and for her role in American television soap The Young and the Restless, will be playing the complex role of The Woman.

The daughter of a dressmaker who ran east London jazz bar Uncle Sam’s, Paulette said she was inspired by her mother and it felt wonderful to perform at home again.

She added: “The show is a revue of all those classic songs that everybody just loves. Susie is doing her own take on it, adding deeper layers and we learn more about the characters through the songs.”

Using legendary blues and jazz music of the Twenties and Thirties, the show explores the lives of three women and a saloon singer in a cheap hotel during the course of a nostalgic evening.

With a cast that also includes Sharon D Clarke from BBC Tv drama Holby City, Hackney Empire stalwart Clive Rowe and promising newcomer Gemma Sutton, the show aims to celebrate the music and the mood of a lost era.

Paulette explained: “It is set in 1930s Chicago, so people were very glamorous and beautiful, but they were going through this real financial hardship.

“We know how difficult it was for them to just perform because of the segregation and the race issues. Susie wants us to be very aware of the period – the heat, the tension – while we are singing these songs.”

The show runs from April 24 to May 4 and tickets start at £10. Visit to book.


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