Taylor Swift saves the day after Sydney theatre show barred from using her song Shake It Off

The cast of Seventeen taking a selfie during production.
The cast of Seventeen taking a selfie during production. PHOTO: BRETT BOARDMAN VIA BELVOIR.COM.AU

What do you do when your new theatre show has been denied permission to use a song that's integral to the actors' performance?

Send an SOS to the singer herself, of course.

Sydney's Belvoir theatre company did just that, after it learned at the eleventh hour that it could not use Taylor Swift's chart-topper Shake It Off in its upcoming show Seventeen as one of the music publishers had turned down its application.

Seventeen, which opens on Wednesday (Aug 5), stars a group of veteran Australian actors in their 70s who play teenagers celebrating their last day of school. 

The show's director, Anne Louise Sarks, turned to Twitter to appeal to Swift directly.

She also sought the help of other famous Australians, such as actors Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman, as well as former Minister for the Arts Tony Burke.

And Swift promptly responded to give the show her blessings.


The hashtag #greygreyfortaytay, which Sarks included in her tweets, started trending as Australians followed the developments and voiced their support on social media.

According to the Guardian, Belvoir chose Shake It Off as it wanted "a really iconic pop track that speaks to 2015" for Seventeen.

"It feels like 17-year-olds dancing at a party but obviously we've spent a lot of time rehearsing," Sarks said.

She added that it was common for theatre companies to rehearse with a song while awaiting the approval of its performance rights, as approval times vary.

Belvoir also said it had gone through the proper channels for its application.