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Dusty Won't Play

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In December 1964 singer Dusty Springfield steps on to the tarmac at Cape Town Airport in a cloud of controversy and hairspray. Nelson Mandela
is in prison and apartheid is ruthlessly enforced but Dusty has insisted on a clause in her contract that she will play only to racially mixed audiences.

Annie Caulfield’s nimble dramatisation of events reveals the moral conviction that resides beneath the former convent girl’s platinum wigs and panda eye shadow as she insists on honouring her contract despite growing harassment from government agents.

Charlie Brooks proves a good match for the smoky cadences of Dusty’s speech and Jack Klaff excels as courageous promoter Dennis Wainer. And there’s a poignant (and true) gesture from black luggage handlers at the airport that wouldn’t be out of place in a Claire Denis movie.


By Annie Caulfield. The story of Dusty Springfield's refusal to perform for segregated audiences during her 1964 tour of South Africa, and the impact of the outspoken singer's opposition to the apartheid regime on her career. Drama drawing on eyewitness accounts, starring Charlie Brooks, Jonny Freeman and Jack Klaff.

Cast & Crew

Dusty Springfield Charlie Brooks
Dennis/John Jack Klaff
Marcus/Robert Vincent Ebrahim
Vic Jonny Freeman
Piet Danny Lee Wynter
Doug Rasmus Hardiker
Director Marilyn Imrie
Producer Gordon Kennedy
Writer Annie Caulfield
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