Plays by Cush Jumbo

Josephine and I

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Josephine Baker a captivating performer, political activist and international icon, who lived from 1906 to 1975, is brought vividly back to life in this startling debut play from Cush Jumbo. From the ragtime rhythms of St Louis and the intoxicating sounds of 1920s Paris, to present-day London, Josephine and I intertwines the story of a modern-day girl with that of one of the greatest, yet largely forgotten, stars of the twentieth century.

Of the play, the Sunday Times wrote: ‘a short show that, in the best possible sense, leaves you longing for more: more knowledge of its fascinating muse, Josephine Baker; more great parts for its jaw-droppingly talented author and star, Cush Jumbo. but also more time to discuss afterwards the serious points it raises about race and gender, today and in Baker's lifetime . . . a brave, exhilarating 100 minutes that redefine Josephine as less flapper, more rights-fighter, and pose important questions about her legacy.'

Josephine and I centres on the legendary American entertainer and her impact on a contemporary young woman.

In the original production, live music combined with dance to bring to life the contemporary legacy of a woman Ernest Hemingway described as "the most sensational woman anyone ever saw, and ever will." It premiered at The Bush Theatre, London on 12 July 2013.

Cush Jumbo is a trained dancer and well known to children through her role as Lois Habiba in top-rated BBC One series Torchwood. She was nominated for an Olivier award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in the all-female Julius Caesar at the Donmar Warehouse, London. In Spring 2013, she appeared as Nora in A Doll's House at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. She co-wrote the musical Rebels and Retail, a shortlisted entrant in the Perfect Pitch West End Showcase 2008. Her one-woman show and playwriting debut, Josephine & I, was first performed at the Etcetera Theatre, Camden, before transferring to the Bush Theatre, London. Cush Jumbo is the co-author of 101 Dance Ideas for 5-11 Year Olds (A&C Black, 2010).