Inspired by Tim Freedman, a new musical to premiere at Hayes Theatre Co

It’s the inaugural season of Hayes Theatre Co, the new musical theatre collective in Sydney, and they’re coming out swinging. After their first production, Sweet Charity, they will premiere a brand-new Australian musical.

It’s cause to celebrate at the best of times when a new musical comes to Australia, but doubly so when it’s an Australian show. Hayes Theatre Co is demonstrating their commitment to cultivating new local works with Truth, Beauty, and a Picture of You.

Truth, Beauty, and a Picture of You.
Truth, Beauty, and a Picture of You.

Inspired by the characters, stories and lyrics of one of Australia’s foremost singer/songwriters, Tim Freedman (The Whitlams), Alex Broun’s Truth, Beauty and a Picture of You is about the hope you find when all hope is lost, as four lost souls struggle to find peace with themselves and their pasts. If not, they’ll just have to move to Marrickville. Featuring many of Tim’s biggest hits from a life in music this new Australian musical theatre work is moving, funny and surprisingly romantic.

Tom’s dad Stuie used to be in a band. They were big – sort of. Legends on three blocks in the inner-west. That was many years ago and Stuie has long since gone to the big pub gig in the sky while the surviving band members, Anton and Charlie, are wrestling with their own personal demons: Charlie is holding up the front bar in a succession of pubs on King St while Anton just wants the past to stay in the past while he disappears into a blur of mediocrity. When Tom arrives in town from Taree to search out his dad’s old band mates, the slow decline of Anton and Charlie is rudely interrupted.

“As a long time fan of Tim Freedman and The Whitlams, I am incredibly excited to be bringing Truth, Beauty and a Picture of You to the stage for its premiere production,” said director and producer Neil Gooding.

“Watch as classic Australian songs such as No Aphrodisiac, Blow Up The Pokies and You Gotta Love This City are re-framed into an original storyline about love, friendship, youth… well as lost love, lost friends….and lost youth.”

Just a few casting hints have been made available, but we know the show will feature Ian Stenlake (Guys and Dolls) and Erica Lovell (Ordinary Days).

“Tim’s music and lyrics have always captured a timeless essence of human interaction – love, longing, loneliness – that is at first very local but also deeply universal,” said Alex Broun.

“And that is why I think his songs strike such a deep chord in all of us. We all have been there, felt that, done that – at some point of our lives.

“The intimacy of the new Hayes Theatre Co in Sydney is the perfect venue to launch the musical and the perfect place for the audience to get up close and experience the feelings and emotions of these much-loved songs and characters.”

The show will play from 9 May. Tickets will be on sale  from Thursday 30 January at

Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and was the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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