Here Lies Love was set to be the next big thing in Sydney’s music theatre calendar this year, but according to reports in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, the immersive theatrical event has been postponed “due to unforseen acoustical engineering issues”.
Producer Rodney Rigby and creator David Byrne officially launched the production in November 2014 as part of the 2015 Vivid Festival line-up. Originally slated to open on 7 May this year in a custom built, makeshift shipping-container-come-theatre, Here Lies Love had artists and theatre lovers in a spin in anticipation of this musical for the “audience who hates musicals”.
Although little is known about the decision to stop selling tickets for the production (all ticket buyers are entitled to a refund – check out the official website’s notice here), today’s news in the SMH is worrying for the future of the highly anticipated experimental rock-concert-meets-dance-club-meets-musical-theatre production, which tells the story of Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos.
With Sydney’s recent track record, in which productions of both Next To Normal and Rock Of Ages were announced, hyped and subsequently postponed, never to be heard of again, is it not a valid concern that Australian audiences may not see this work for some time to come? Will the “unforseen acoustical engineering issues” found in the construction of the 550 seat Millenium Theatre in Baranagroo be easily overcome? Will the actors still on hold for the production be released and given the chance to look for new work?
Let’s see what emerges in the next few days about Here Lies Love. Until more information comes to hand, all we know is, it’s a sad day for Sydney’s 2015 musical theatre scene.
AussieTheatre understands that the Government-supplied site for Here Lies Love’s custom built theatre in Barangaroo could not be made noise compliant. The producers, along with the NSW Government will be looking into confirming another site for the production. Actors on hold for the production have been released and given the green light to accept other work.
How long the process of finding a noise compliant site will take is anyone’s guess, but let’s hope it happens sooner rather than later.