SYDNEY - Pop star Taylor Swift has leapt to the aid of a Sydney theatre company suffering an "artistic emergency" by giving the cast of 70-somethings permission to dance to her chart-topper "Shake it Off".
Sydney's Belvoir Theatre took to Twitter with the hashtag "greygrey4taytay" to appeal to the American singer for permission to use the song in a play due to open Wednesday night.
"I'm facing an artistic emergency I hope you can help with," theatre director Anne-Louise Sarks tweeted to the singer on Tuesday morning.
She was referring to the play "Seventeen" about 17-year-olds on their last night of high school but played by actors in their 70s.
In the production's show-stopper scene, the cast dance to "Shake it Off" - and they had learned all the word to the song - yet at the last minute they had been denied permission to use it, reportedly by the song's publishers.
"Is there anything at all you can do?!!" Sarks pleaded.
The response was quick with the singer giving the green light via Twitter: "Permission granted. Good luck with your opening night." Swift is a global superstar with more than 61.5 million followers on Twitter but her work was largely unknown to the cast of the Seventeen until they began rehearsing the play, which was written specifically for them.
"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," Sarks told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"So it was quite a big deal to get denied those rights at the last minute." She later said on Twitter that Taylor's support for artists was "a thing to behold".