Bradley McCaw shares some old fashioned values

Brisbane-based musician and composer Bradley McCaw has worked in professional theatre for many years. A graduate of the Griffith Conservatorium of Music, he has turned his hand to composition of new Australian works and building a community around such creations to empower other Australian artists.

Bradley McCaw | photo by Adam Shaw

His existing body of musical works includes The Oasis, A Little Princess (based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett), and Becoming Bill. His latest work Any Moment was inspired by some famous words by John Lennon.

He has also started a podcast titled Making Musicals which features industry professionals from New York, London, Japan, and Melbourne sharing their insights on creating theatrical work.

‘Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans,’ goes the infamous Lennon quote. McCaw had always wanted to work on a song cycle, a musical that revolves on a question, not a narrative, and Lennon’s quote kept appearing in his mind.

Any Moment

McCaw is about to premiere the worldwide release of his concept album Any Moment on 25 June. It will coincide with two performances at Chapel Off Chapel as part of the Melbourne Cabaret Festival on 25 – 26 June. McCaw will be performing alongside an all-star cast including Helpmann Award winner Kerrie-Anne Greenland (Les Miserables), Natalie O’Donnell (Mamma Mia), John O’Hara (School of Rock), and Vidya Makan (Sunday in the Park with George).

Jacqui McLaren, James Shaw, Irena Lysiuk, and Shaun Kohlman at the development workshop for Any Moment | photo by Adam Shaw

“Talking with Sue Rider [Australian writer], I clarified what the work could potentially be and set about writing an exploration of life over 24 hours. Each scene moves forward throughout the day, beginning at midnight and ending 24 hours later. [Any Moment] aims to explore what happens in the small and big moments of our day,” McCaw explained.

“Ultimately, we’d love to become a place where the creation of new works is expected, encouraged and enjoyed, and our audiences are coming to us because they are interested in new works.”
~ Bradley McCaw

The Old Fashioned Production Company’s focus is on building global networks and supporting artists. “Making new musicals is challenging in Australia. Telling unique stories specific to our individual language and place in the world is really challenging,” McCaw observed. “We can advance together where every artist is building an audience for themselves, not just the company when working with us.”

Lauren McKenna – Any Moment VIP Launch | photo by Adam Shaw


The multi-instrumentalist didn’t set out to write for the theatre. Inspired by American popular music, early blues, gospel, country and great artists like Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Jason Robert Brown, and Harold Prince, he began his career touring with notable acts such as The Ten Tenors.

“Writing for the theatre happened by accident. I never consciously decided to start.” McCaw was approached to write a show by Joymas Creative in 2010. The show had a sold-out season and it encouraged him to pursue his writing talents. “I got the impression it was something I could become good at. That was the very beginning for me.”

“I have always been passionate about community” ~ Bradley McCaw

McCaw has tended to write stories that revolve around community and he credits his strong family for this. “Both of my published plays have equal casting for male and female genders. They are both stories that explore family and relationships, as does Becoming Bill which was my first attempt at writing!”

This year, Becoming Bill will have its world premiere at Brisbane Powerhouse on 14 – 25 August. Rachael Beck will be starring in the premiere season which will be directed by Neil Gooding, with musical direction by Trevor Jones.


There are many perks that come with McCaw’s profession and working with the big names in Australian theatre is just one of them, as he explains.

“I get to write songs and sing them. That’s pretty good! I travel a lot. Work has given me more ‘pins to stick in the Atlas’ than I ever would have expected, starting out. Meeting so many artists and people around the world [is] an exciting part of my job. But mostly I love to tell and make stories. There’s no greater feeling for me than being in a workshop and seeing an artist explore an idea and bring it into life. For me, that’s the greatest perk.”

Bradley McCaw | photo by Adam Shaw

McCaw feels that now is an exciting time for Australian musicals. It’s taken a long time to encourage Australian audiences to come to new works and McCaw believes it’s because of the benchmark that Broadway has set.

“Those of us coming up at this point in time are standing on the shoulders of those before us. I’ve been in New York recently and most people around the world associate Broadway with a ‘good musical’ and if it isn’t from Broadway it may or may not be a good musical. And I’m certain this idea affects whether people come and take a chance on a new work in Australia.”

“Australia, in my opinion, is at a point where we need to create our own idols and leaders that audiences can trust and follow to the box office. So we can continue to share and cultivate the voice and tradition of Australian musical theatre, which will find it’s own place in theatres and communities alongside works from Broadway and West End.”

For more information about Brad McCaw’s projects visit

Jennifer Trijo

Jennifer Trijo is a Filipino-Australian singer, musician, actress, teacher, composer, and freelance writer who has toured with professional bands, appeared on commercial television and radio, and performed in notable theatre productions – Kim in Miss Saigon Australian Tour, Mary Magdalene in Cross and Light Australian Premiere, and Mulan / Pocahontas / Princess Badroulbadour in Disenchanted! Australian Premiere. She has tertiary qualifications in music education, business, and journalism, and has produced a self-titled EP, and the album Keys to a Woman’s Heart. Jennifer founded the arts and lifestyle publication The Serenade Files, a resource for emerging creatives and entrepreneurs. Her published work has appeared in Limelight Magazine,, and Australian Teacher Magazine. She composed the original score for A Thousand Cranes produced by The Gemini Collective for the Adelaide Fringe 2019, and has musically-directed Shrek, Wicked, and Glee for Adelaide Youth Theatre. Jennifer is currently working as Assistant Musical Director and Repetiteur for the South Australian premiere of Strictly Ballroom the musical.

Jennifer Trijo

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