Cousens returns to directing

Peter Cousens

Former Kookaburra founder and mainstay musical theatre performer Peter Cousens will direct the Australian musical Crusade 1212 at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney later this month.

The musical, written by Amy McGrath, Arnold Butcher and Benjamin Loomes, opens on January 29 for a short season.

Crusade 1212 is a rock musical, based on the children’s crusade 1212.Crusade 1212 was premiered at the Australian Theatre Sydney and the Sydney Opera House in a shorter concert performance to rave reviews in 1975.

Crusade 1212 brings to life one of the great legends of a time in 1212 when children flocked to join a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The spark which kindled this Children’s Crusade was lit by a 12-year-old boy Stephen, who claimed Jesus has appeared to him and gave him a letter for King Philip Augustus commanding him to launch a new and peaceful crusade.

Stephen was rejected by King Philip but not before Stephen had begun to attract crowds of followers due to his passionate conviction.

30,000 children and young people took up the cause and in July 1212 set out for Marseilles. Many fell by the wayside as finding food and shelter proved nearly impossible, those who survived boarded ships for the Holy Land – no word of their fate was heard until and old priest returned to tell his tale…18 years later.

The action taken by these young people in 1212 in the name of peace has endured through the ages and resonates deeply with all of us in 2010.

For bookings and details, go to

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