Rehearsals commence today for the much-anticipated return of the redoubtable Gerry Connolly to the Sydney stage in the premiere of The Rise and Disguise of Elizabeth R at Hayes Theatre Co from 13 February.
Gerry Connolly is a familiar and much-loved face in Australia. A versatile actor, comic and musician, we have watched him in classic television shows Fast Forward and Joh’s Jury and on stage in Urinetown, Anything Goes and Nick Enright’s Summer Rain, in opera, with symphony orchestras and the regal opening of an envelope. Perhaps his most enduring performance has been his inhabitation of Queen Elizabeth II. Over four decades, his loving (and uncanny) representation of her, full of dry wit and surprising ingenuity, has become an Australian icon. This turn began life at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in revue, and along with his rendition of Sir Joh Bjelke Petersen quickly became the basis of stage shows such as Men and Women of Australia, I CONnolly, Gerrymander Joh and the Last Crusade, Different Things and Pianomaniac.
After playing Her Majesty for four decades, this brand-new story sees Gerry and his alter-ego, the QE2, coming to terms with their life choices and what still lies in store for them during Her Maj’s twilight years. Supporting the leading lady is a brilliant ensemble comprising of comedic triple threats including Rob Mallett (Singin’ in the Rain) and Laura Murphy (Muriel’s Wedding). The Rise and Disguise of Elizabeth R also features many of Gerry’s other brilliant alter-egos including the Queen’s son Prince Charles, the Iron Lady Baroness Thatcher, her Australian PMs to other famous home-grown personalities. As the Queen nears the end of her reign, this show explores her history, her hidden personality, and the weird sense of intimacy that has developed for Gerry over decades of walking in the shoes of The Monarch.
Directed by Hayes favourite Shaun Rennie (Only Heaven Knows, The View UpStairs) with an original score and musical direction by Max Lambert (Darlinghurst Nights), Gerry will push boundaries, as always, in this outing, full of pathos, humour and heart. Expect the unexpected in a show that delivers what the Royal Family isn’t known for: gags, show tunes and dancing.
Gus Murray of Sugary Rum Productions says, “Gerry’s QE2 is an Australian icon and we’re thrilled to bring this hilarious new show to Sydney’s home of musical theatre. This is a top-notch team of theatre-makers bringing to life a show that will constantly keep you guessing.”
THE RISE AND DISGUISE OF ELIZABETH R
Presented by Sugary Rum Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co
Starring Gerry Connolly
Writers – Gerry Connolly, Nick Coyle, Gus Murray
Director – Shaun Rennie
Musical Director – Max Lambert
Choreographer – Leah Howard
Production Designer – Jeremy Allen
Lighting Designer – Trent Suidgeest
Sound & AV Designer – Dave Bergman
Producer – Gus Murray
Venue: Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point
Season: 13 February – 1 March 2020
Times: Tues- Sat 7.30pm| Sat 2pm| Sun 3pm
Price: $65 Adult, $55 Concession and Subscription Offer
Bookings: www.hayestheatre.com.au | (02) 8065 7337
Tickets for The Rise and Disguise of Elizabeth R are available now www.hayestheatre.com.au or by calling the Hayes Theatre Co box office during business hours on (02) 8065 7337.