Café Society Swing at Leicester Square

A musical show based on the story of the 1940s NY jazz club Café Society will play at Leicester Square Theatre this December

Café Society Swing, a musical show based on the story of the Café Society jazz club, will play for a limited time at Leicester Square Theatre in London on 21 and 22 December.

Café Society, which opened in New York in 1938, was the first racially desegregated club in the city. Advertised as “the wrong place for the right people”, it was known for its left-wing politics and strivings towards racial equality. It also saw Billie Holiday’s first ever performance of Strange Fruit.

Until its demise in 1948 following founder Barney Josephson’s brother being subpoenaed by the Un-American Activities Committee, the club played host to myriad jazz musicians such as Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Lena Horne and Coleman Hawkins.

Café Society Swing has already run sell-out shows at the Southbank Centre and Tricycle Theatre. It stars US cabaret artist Harold Sanditen, along with Dee Dee Bridgewater’s daughter China Moses (pictured), Alexander Stewart and Cherise Adams-Burnett. The show also stars Nat Facey (as), Sue Richardson (t), Frank Griffin (ts), Moses Boyd (d) and Miles Danso (b).

The show was created by Alex Webb with assistance from Terry Trilling-Josephson, Barney Josephson’s widow. It tells the true story of the club through the music of the era.

The show will play at the Leicester Square Theatre at 9.30pm on 21 and 22 December 2013. Advance tickets are £18.50 or £20.50 on the door, with group discounts available. You can buy tickets by calling the box office on 08448 733433 or visiting

Sally Evans-Darby

Photo by Vincent Pennachio

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