Star role for Rush, (Sondheim thinks so!) in Forum 2012


Geoffrey Rush to star in revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Geoffrey Rush 2012 - Australian of the Year
Australian of the Year Geoffrey Rush will star in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum. Pic. National Australia Day Council

Dressed in full Roman garb at Melbourne’s old Treasury Building, Producer John Frost and Director Simon Phillips announced Melbourne’s next big musical.

And my, will it be BIG!

Phillips and Frost will be the Director/Producer team for Australia’s upcoming revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum starring 2012 Australian of the Year Geoffrey Rush in the leading role of Pseudolus.

Composed by Stephen Sondheim with a book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, FORUM is a fast-paced farce which revolves around Pseudolus, a cunning Roman slave who’ll do anything to win his freedom.

If the creative and production team’s cheeky and hilarious display at today’s announcement is anything to go by, this musical will certainly be one of the highlights of 2012’s musical theatre calendar.

At least, Stephen Sondheim thinks so.

Hams: Producer John Frost & Dir. Simon Phillips

“Stephen is coming to Melbourne to see Geoffrey in the part of Pseudolus, a rolled gold role, Zero Mostel, Nathan Lane, Phil Silvers – all won Tonys playing Pseudolus and in London, the great Frankie Howerd, was unforgettable as the wily slave, circa 200 BC”, said Producer, John Frost.

“Now it’s Geoffrey Rush’s turn. And the fact that Stephen Sondheim is coming to Australia to see the production at The Maj tells you how much a landmark this musical comedy promises to be.”

The venue, Her Majesty’s Theatre Melbourne is of significance to this production, as it was the home of the original JC Williams production in 1966. The 2012 revival will open at Her Majesty’s on October 27 2012, and tickets will be on sale to the general public from 9am Thursday 21 June, 2012.

“I’m pixelated at the thought of working on this show. The script is a perfect musical theatre confection: a distilled classic farce as wrought by America’s canniest shtick-writers combined with some of Sondheim’s most robust and witty songs”, said Director Simon Phillips

“I’ve long thought that the lead role might have been written for Geoffrey and I’m surrounding him with a gob-smacking collection of the country’s finest comedians. It’s hard to imagine a more blissful way to spend an evening.”

An announcement will be made at the end of the month confirming the full cast who will begin rehearsals on 17 September.

For more information over the coming months, visit

or follow the production on Twitter @FunnyThingOz

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

2 thoughts on “Star role for Rush, (Sondheim thinks so!) in Forum 2012

  • I thought, that SYDNEY was the musical capital of Australia?


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