A co-production with Theatre Is:
Master Juba was a new play from the writer & installation artist Michael McMillan, based on the true story of William Henry Lane, the father of black British dance, whose legacy to the performing world is tap dance.
In 1854 William Henry Lane, a witty, sharp, young, black man arrives in London from New York as a superstar. He is about to win a competition that will make him the ‘King of all Dancers’, the ‘Master of the Juba’. Lane was 17 years old when he was discovered by PT Barnum in New York. But when the ‘superstar’ came to London he had to ‘black up’ as a minstrel to be allowed to perform on the British stage. The play explores his battles to overcome racial stereotyping and the challenges he made to British social conventions.
Master Juba offered an outstanding evening of entertainment with dance, music, theatre and digital animation.