Preserving our cultural heritage: Miracle City cast recording confirmed

AussieTheatre can confirm that a cast album of Nick Enright and Max Lambert’s Australian musical Miracle City will be recorded during its run at the Hayes Theatre Co in Potts Point.

Esther Hannaford, Blazey Best, Marika Aubrey and Josie Lane. Image by Kurt Sneddon
Esther Hannaford, Blazey Best, Marika Aubrey and Josie Lane. Image by Kurt Sneddon

Produced by Luckiest Production and Hayes Theatre Co, Miracle City has received rave reviews and, according to co-writer and musical director Max Lambert, a cast recording will be available to purchase “pretty soon” after the show closes.

Originally produced in 1996, Miracle City is the stuff of legend in the Australian musical theatre community. Seemingly lost after one successful season at they Sydney Theatre Company, the show will now be preserved in the form of a live recording and will be available for purchase on iTunes and CD in the near future.

Composer and musical director Max Lambert spoke with AussieTheatre about the recording and the importance of preserving Australian works – “our cultural heritage” – for future generations.

“So many people have asked me about [a recording of Miracle City] and of course when we did it at the STC 14,000 years ago we didn’t make a recording, so we thought this is a good time to do it. Fortunately, Ian Enright, Nick Enright’s brother, has found some money to fund it”, Lambert said.

“I think we always thought we would try to do it if we could, but all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle fitted together very easily and it wasn’t a massive trial,” he added.

Special equipment was set up to record the production at the 110 seat venue during every show last week and the album will be what Lambert describes as a “best of” each performance.

“I think the cast are wonderful – they are fantastic. I can’t imagine anyone else doing it better. They all have a list of all their songs and they can score themselves on each night so when we are putting it together we can make sure we take that into consideration”, he laughed.

Lambert is passionate about preserving Australian works in the form of recordings and in print form, allowing greater accessibility for Australian performers and also the opportunity for international artists to become familiar with Australian work.

“I think that in Australia that if you want to do something that is an Australian musical, really the only way of doing it is you have to know the writers or get the phone number of the composer or something like that, and I think that makes it very difficult for a lot of people because not everyone has that kind of access”, he said.

Six of the songs from Miracle City are also soon to be published in a special Nick Enright songbook, and while Lambert is sure that this along with the recording of Miracle City will help the accessibility issue, he says there is still more to be done.

“If you want to sing a song from Summer Rain or Venetian Twins or indeed some of James Millar and Peter Rutherford’s work you’ve actually got to know them to be able to do the songs, and I think that’s hard for a lot of people and I think this will make it a little bit easier. And we should probably do it a lot more. That’s the tip of the iceberg. There are be a whole lot of other things we should be celebrating too,” he said.

Miracle City is playing at the Hayes Theatre Co until Sunday 16 November.

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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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