Billie Holiday and Andrews Sisters tribute at Playhouse speakeasy

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The Original Speakeasy is back for this year’s City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival but now The Playhouse takes you on a journey into the story of Billie Holiday and the Andrews Sisters!

But instead of the smoking hot atmosphere of a prohibition era Speakeasy in 1929, audiences will be transported to a 1950s Vaudevillian underground with new surprise performances, divas and LOTS more dress up style! The hottest ticket in town, the Artillery Street Speakeasy quickly sold out last year.

Fresh from touring with the ‘Swinging At The Cotton Club’ Theatre Tour throughout the UK, diva Marlene Hill will perform as the great Lady Day Billie Holiday, at the official bar of the Jazz Festival.

Marlene Little Hill stuns and delights audiences with her many different styles of music from the gospel songs of her upbringing in the Pennsylvania Baptist Churches to the beautiful ballads of Billie Holiday.

Songbirds Philippa O’Hara (who reached the final 20 ‘Over the Rainbow’, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s BBC search for a new Dorothy) and Jolene O’Hara (whose TV credits include; Mary Reilly in Marú (Stirling Productions) and Eurydice in Eurydice Short Film by Ian Templeton) will join Marlene as the Andrews sisters, along with local singer, actor and Spotlight Prize Nominee Orla Mullan, (‘The Fall’ Season 2 (BBC)).

“Always sold out ahead of time, the gig is the hottest in town,” producer Kieran Griffiths at The Playhouse said.

“So get your ticket and password for a completely different night of music, danger, excitement and old fashioned post war punch!”

The Playhouse Prohibition Speakeasy will run during the Jazz Festival from Thursday 28 April to Sunday 1 May from 9.30pm. Entry is 5 bucks. Book with The Playhouse on (028)71268027 or online at

The theatre also has a full programme over the festival.

On Thursday 28th April, 8pm, McHugh & Talbot Sing Rodgers & Hart, features a celebration of the music of Rodgers & Hart.

Friday 29th April, 8pm will feature David Lyttle // John Goldsby // Tom Harrison.

On Saturday 30th April, 8pm Jean Toussaint: Roots & Herb will be celebrating the legendary Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.

Paying homage to the great drummer and bandleader, Art Blakey, who led the world acclaimed Jazz Messengers for over 35 years, tenor and soprano saxophonist Jean Toussaint, himself a Jazz Messenger in the 1980s, brings his quintet to Londonderry to perform numbers by Wayne Shorter and Lee Morgan from the iconic Blue Note Records album, Roots & Herbs. Sunday 1st May, 2pm, will feature Paul Mc Intyre & Friends.

And on Sunday 1st May, 8pm, Victoria Geelan will celebrate the music of Nina Simone.