New musical Happy People set for Melbourne

The Australian premiere concert production of Matthew Lee Robinson’s Happy People is currently in an intensive rehearsal period in Melbourne ahead of a limited four show season at Chapel Off Chapel.

Helpmann-nominated and Churchill Fellowship winner Matthew Lee Robinson is the composer/lyricist of the piece, which was originally commissioned by the State Theatre Company of South Australia. Under the mentorship of Stephen Schwartz (Wicked), Robinson workshopped the show in New York last year, featuring cast members from the Broadway productions of Wicked, Memphis and Jersey Boys.

This weekend, a selection of Australian music theatre stars come together to present the piece at The Loft, Chapel off Chapel, allowing Aussie audiences the chance to see this new work from one of our most promising musical theatre writers. Bobby Fox (Jersey Boys), Gretel Scarlett (Grease), Tom Sharah (That ‘90s Show), Sun Park (Mamma Mia!), Bert LaBonté (The Mountaintop) and Robyn Arthur (Mother & Son) will appear in this concert production, which opens in Melbourne on Saturday 18 October.

Happy People reveals the onstage/offstage life of America’s most popular (fictional) children’s television performing group as they descend into chaos during their tenth anniversary year.

“I was inspired after a catching an episode of Hi-5 in the mid-2000s to write HAPPY PEOPLE. I was amazed at the relentless bubble and fizz of Charli Delaney in particular and desperate to know what the backstage life of a children’s entertainer might be, what they must have to suppress to get on with the job. The whole show has a smile, a wink and a stab in the back.” Matthew Lee Robinson

Happy People are four face actors (Sally, Sunny, Benny and Bobby) and the internationally famed suit character Edison The Elephant. They’re all too old to still be at this game, underscored by a marital break-up between two members, one desperate to become a breakaway pop star, one addicted to illicit substances and one on the verge of nervous breakdown.

Check out the rehearsal images in this special photo feature below!

Happy People in Concert

Book, music and lyrics: Matthew Lee Robinson

Saturday 18th October – 4:00pm & 8:00pm
Sunday 19th October – 2:00pm & 6:00pm

Chapel off Chapel (The Loft) Melbourne

Bookings: (03) 8290 7000 or

Tickets: $39 / $35 (concession)

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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