2016 Sydney independent musical theatre update

In an email thanking Squabbalogic subscribers for support of their successful Australian Cultural Fund project, the company announced that the casting brief for The Original Grease would be made available today.

Although in the back of our minds we knew this production was on its way, Sydney’s independent musical announcements have been slightly overshadowed recently by the enormous 2016 professional season. AussieTheatre decided to remedy that problem, so we have put together a list of productions expected in the first half of 2016 from both the Hayes Theatre and Squabbalogic, the current dominating forces in Sydney-based independent musical theatre.

  • Kicking off a massive year in independent theatre entertainment, The Fantastiks will debut at the Hayes from 11 January. Presented by Wooden Horse Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co, the show will be directed by Australian stage favourite Helen Dallimore.
  • On 18 February, Little Shop of Horrors starring Esther Hannaford and Brent Hill will move into the Hayes space. Presented by Luckiest Productions and Tinderbox Productions in association with the Hayes Theatre Co, the show is already expected to be a hit among theatre fans, and will tour after the initial Hayes engagement.
Brent Hill (Seymour) and Esther Hannaford (Audrey) | Photo by Jefff Busby
Brent Hill (Seymour) and Esther Hannaford (Audrey) | Photo by Jefff Busby
  • The return season of RENT is up next for the Hayes, with the production back by audience demand after a fantastic 2015 season. Beginning 29 March, Highway Run Production in association with Hayes Theatre Co will be at the helm of the production. We hope that the full original cast and creative team will be back for the second staging of this run, and we are excited for audiences to get another chance to experience Jonathan Larson’s masterpiece.
  • The Original Grease - Sqabbalogic
    The Original Grease – Sqabbalogic

    From 6 April, audiences will be treated to an incredibly rare production – The Original Grease, presented by Squabbalogic Independent Music Theatre Inc. Described on the Seymour Centre’s site as “including never-before-heard music, lyrics and scenes,” the show promises to return to a deeper, darker Grease than we have had the opportunity to see before. Take a look here for our feature on adaptations of Grease through the ages.

  • Presented by New Musicals Australia and the Hayes Theatre Co, The Detective’s Handbook will set up shop on the Hayes stage by 21 April. With music by Olga Solar and book and lyrics by Ian Ferrington, we hope audiences sell the show out in support of new musical theatre.
  • The strange yet wonderful world of Xanadu will be next to take up residence at the Hayes theatre, with performances beginning 12 May. Presented by Matthew Management in association with Hayes Theatre Co, Xanadu weaves the story of a Greek muse into a plot concerning roller disco.
  • Finishing out the first six months of the year, Squabbalogic will present the Sydney premiere of Freckleface Strawberry. Based on the beloved New York Times best-selling book by celebrated actress Julianne Moore, the production opens at the Seymour Centre on 28 June and will be a musical experience for all ages.
Freckleface Strawberry Squabbalogic

Expect to see an updated list of independent musicals for the last half of 2016 as soon as details come to light – we expect a big show of strength from the Hayes following their brilliant programming for the first half of the year, and can’t wait to see which show Squabbalogic will present as their ever-popular Mystery Musical!

Maddi Ostapiw

Maddi is a performer who has been too scared to stand in the spotlight for the last few years, so she channels her need for love and appreciation into writing about the theatre instead. An energetic consumer of musical theatre, she is currently earning a degree in journalism and teaches voice in her small hometown. Maddi is normally covered in cat fur, has an opinion on everything, and in the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda, is not throwing away her shot.

Maddi Ostapiw

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