Taylor Swift grants Sydney senior theatre group permission to use her song

It’s not every day that a global superstar responds to a fan’s message – they just get so many. So Sydney’s Belvoir theatre are considering themselves star struck after Taylor Swift responded to their plea.

You see, the veteran theatre company needed permission to use the song ‘Shake It Off’ in their new show Seventeen, but were turned down at the eleventh hour.

A Belvoir spokeswoman said the company had followed the correct procedures by applying for performance rights to the song through the Australasian Performing Right Association (Apra), but as approvals can take time, it’s normal for theatre companies to continue rehearsing until permission is granted. However on Friday, ‘Shake It Off’ was unable to be used.

Opening night is tomorrow and the actors were nervously contemplating having to remove a pivotal scene without the song.

The musical features a group of six over-70s playing 17-year-olds on their final day of school. It must have sounded like a great premise to Ms Swift, because after a campaign to get her to say yes, she tweeted the show’s director and gave her blessing.
The show’s director, Anne-Louise Sarks, who had attempted to contact Swift directly earlier in the day, was so thankful.

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Ms Sarks took to Twitter to appeal to the 25-year-old singer, and the hashtag
Sarks also sent tweets to the actor Russell Crowe, the former federal arts minister Tony Burke and the record label boss Scott Borchetta in the hope of reaching Swift.

Not long after Sarks’s tweets, the hashtag #greygrey4taytay began trending across Australia.

Sarks told Guardian Australia that Belvoir had wanted “a really iconic pop track that speaks to 2015” for the show.

“It feels like 17-year-olds dancing at a party but obviously we’ve spent a lot of time rehearsing”, she said. The cast includes John Gaden, Barry Otto, Peter Carroll, Maggie Dence, Genevieve Lemon and Anna Volska.

This is an awesome example of the power of social media and how we can connect to our idols in ways we never thought possible.

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Check out the tweets sent between Ms Sark and Ms Swift and tell us, have you ever been star struck?


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