A group of Australian thespians have been rescued by Taylor Swift.
Songstress and all-round-cool-person Taylor Swift has come to the rescue of a Sydney theatre company whose production was threatened by a last-minute snag when they were refused permission to use the singer’s hit song Shake It Off.
The Belvoir Street Theatre play Seventeen, due to open this week, features a cast of actors in their 70s playing 17-year-olds on their last day of school.
“There’s this great moment where they Shake It Off, and they know all the words and have amazing moves,” Belvoir director Anne-Louise Sarks said on Twitter. “But we’ve just at the last minute been told we can’t have the rights to the song.”
Ms Sarks told the ABC the actors had been rehearsing the heavily-choreographed scene for weeks and that it was an important part of the show.
“These actors weren’t, until these rehearsals, familiar with Taylor Swift — or much pop music — so we introduced them to this track, they learned all the words — it was kind of a big process,” she said. “So it was quite a big deal to get denied those rights at the last minute.”
In an attempt to fix the problem, Ms Sarks began a furious social media campaign on Tuesday where she reached out to Swift and her friends. The theatre troupe tweeted to actor Russell Crowe and comedian Tim Minchin — as well as accounts linked to Swift’s “army” — to get the star’s attention.
The hashtag #greygrey4taytay soon began trending in Australia, Swift then responded.
“Permission granted, @BelvoirSt,” Swift wrote. “Good luck with your opening night.”
Ms Sarks said she was “overwhelmed” that Swift had come through for the company and she wrote to Swift on Twitter: “Your support for artists is a thing to behold.”