The UK première of the hit Off-Broadway musical SHIDA, written and performed by Jeannette Bayardelle, is today announced. The award-winning production, directed by Andy Sandberg, opens at The Vaults on 13 September, with previews from 11 September, and runs until 13 October.

Set to a soulfully contagious score of rock, jazz, R&B, and gospel music, SHIDA is based on the true story of a young African-American girl who aspires to become a writer, tracing the ups and downs of her family, friendships, and love life – from the double-dutch court at St. Mary’s Catholic School in the Bronx to a scholarship at NYU. Her dreams become sidetracked by hardship and loss until her faith and those closest to her combine to restore Shida’s hope and give her a second chance.

Jeannette Bayardelle said today, “I could not be more excited to bring my musical SHIDA to London! This is a true story about my childhood best friend, and there's no piece of theatre that's more special to me - it's an honour to share her story with the world. Developing SHIDA with Ars Nova (NYC) and having our première Off-Broadway were such incredible experiences, and I am grateful to my collaborators, our producers, and especially our audiences for believing in this show. Now, bringing SHIDA to The Vaults for its UK première is a dream come true, and I’m looking forward to collaborating once again with my director Andy Sandberg as we bring this musical across the pond. The time has never felt more right to tell Shida’s story. London — we’ll see you soon!”

Jeannette Bayardelle reprises her role as Shida, for which she won and AUDELCO Award for Outstanding Solo Performance. SHIDA also received an IRNE Award nomination for Best Solo Show in 2015. Her theatre credits include The Color Purple (The Broadway Theatre/US tour- the NAACP Theater Award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical), Hair (Al Hirschfeld Theatre), The Best of Both Worlds (The Women's Project Theater/American Repertory Theater), Rock of Ages (New World Stages), Sister Act (North Shore Music Theatre/Theatre by the Sea), Big River, Freaky Friday, Rent (US tour), Girl from the North Country (The Public Theater and the forthcoming Broadway transfer); and for film, The Little Mermaid III. Bayardelle’s albums include I Know Who I Am, Praise Report and Transferable.

Andy Sandberg is a director, writer, actor, and Tony Award winning producer. His theatre credits as a Director include the world premieres of Shida (Ars Nova - AUDELCO Award nomination for Best Director), Straight (Theatre Row), Application Pending – which he also co-wrote (Westside Theatre - Broadway World Award for Best Off-Broadway Play, Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Solo Show), Neurosis and R.R.R.E.D. (DR2 Theatre), Operation Epsilon (Central Square Theater @ MIT - IRNE Award for Best Director), The Last Smoker in America (Westside Theatre), and Craving For Travel - which he co-wrote (Peter J. Sharp Theater @ Playwrights Horizons). As a producer, his credits include Hair (Al Hirschfeld Theatre/Gielgud Theatre - Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle Awards), The Best Man (Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre - Tony Award nomination for Best Revival of a Play), The Realistic Joneses (Lyceum Theater), A Perfect Future (Cherry Lane Theater), Vigil (DR2 Theatre), Pageant (Davenport Theater - Drama Desk Nomination for Best Revival) and Paradise Found (Menier Chocolate Factory). Sandberg is a graduate of Yale University and a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) and the Off-Broadway League.

SHIDA was originally developed in association with Ars Nova (NYC).

The Vaults
Leake St, Lambeth, London SE1 7NN

11 September – 13 October 2019
Press night: Friday 13 September, 7pm


Running time: 75 minutes

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