One woman’s life-long love for Billie Holiday’s music, for the stars, and for her lost baby brother.
Writer, director, performer, poet and jazz singer Cheryl Martin brings her Billie Holiday inspired show Who Wants to Live Forever? to York Theatre Royal Studio on 25 May.
A jazz fantasy about loss, love and hope, set among the stars, Who Wants To Live Forever? combines science fact, real-world psychological observation and autobiography with live jazz vocals to ask why some stars shine more brightly than others, human and celestial, and why people love to watch them falling.
It’s all channelled through the music of legendary African-American jazz singer Billie Holiday, the first star Cheryl wished on as a child.
“My father had a really good jazz collection, lots of be-bop, Thelonious Monk, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday. Billie was my main influence, and I talk about singing along when I used to share a bunk bed with my little sister.
“In the show, I wonder why people are so fascinated by falling stars, both human and the real thing. I talk about how stars are formed and why I love to go camping and look at the stars. I also talk about my family, about my little brother and how he died. They told me a white guy was shooting into cars with black people in them.”
Martin’s brother was hit, finally passing away 20 years later at the age of 39.
She adds: “Like my other show Alaska, Who Wants to Live Forever? ended up being about my own life because I didn’t know how to digest what happened any other way. Most people in society don’t talk about these things either, and people don’t know how to talk to you. The show is also very funny though. The truth of life is that nobody cries all the time.”
Who Wants to Live Forever? is directed by Darren Pritchard, with lighting and set design by Andrew Crofts and dramaturgy by Sonia Hughes.
For more information and tickets, head to http://www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk
Who Wants to Live Forever? is performed at York Theatre Royal Studio on Friday 25 May 2018.