Tim Freedman's musical set to be workshopped by Australia's best

Peter Cousens, Rodney Dobson, Blazey Best, Toby Francis, Gareth Keegan, Katrina Retallick, Justin Smith and Ian Stenlake are among the seasoned performers announced this week in New Musicals Australia’s second workshop season, which includes a new musical co-written by The Whitlams frontman, Tim Freedman.

 new musicalsPeter Cousens, Rodney Dobson, Blazey Best, Toby Francis, Gareth Keegan, Katrina Retallick, Justin Smith and Ian Stenlake are among the seasoned performers announced this week in New Musicals Australia’s second workshop season, which includes a new show co-written by The Whitlams frontman, Tim Freedman. Aimed at developing new Australian musicals for the stage, New Musicals Australia is committed to celebrating Australian talent. In this second season, free concert presentations of new Australian works are taking place in both Melbourne and Sydney. “New Musicals Australia galvanizes the incredible pool of creative professionals in this country from the writers and composers to the directors and performers, and provides the unique opportunity to simultaneously showcase and to develop the work and talent out there. Our second round of workshops for 2011 is rich in content and talent, New Musicals Australia is thrilled to announce the cast members for our second round of workshops,” said Director of New Musicals Australia, Kris Stewart.  The first round of workshops earlier this year were such a resounding success that company were able to secure some of Australia’s most talented music theatre performers this second season. This November and December, four shows, by Australian writers and composers will have ‘developmental readings’ and three will enjoy ‘snapshot presentations’.  Developmental Readings enable new shows to be workshopped for a week before presentation with professional actors. Snapshot Presentations allow writers to present a thirty minute portion of their work in concert to an industry panel and general audience – much like the famous workshops in New York City which have seen the birth of such musicals as Danni Girl (recently performed in QLD) and Avenue Q. New Musicals Australia is an initiative dedicated to the production of original music theatre in Australia. The program focuses on providing writers and composers with the opportunity to have their scripts and songs workshopped by professionals and presented to high level industry peers, creative industry leaders and general audience members. New Musicals Australia also supports a variety of other initiatives targeted at developing new works, establishing networks and providing support for independent writers.     

Developmental Readings in Sydney 

 Truth, beauty and a picture of you  Tim Freedman & Alex Broun’s Truth, beauty and a picture of you is based on the characters and songs of Tim Freedman, one of Australia’s greatest singer-songwriters. This work will undergo a Developmental Reading, which includes a one week rehearsal period with a strong company of professional performers and a presentation to the public on Friday, 2 & Saturday, 3 December at The Fusebox (Sydney).  Cast for Truth, beauty and a picture of you includes much loved music theatre performer and star of Nine Network’s Sea Patrol Ian Stenlake, Sam Devenport, Scott Johnson (Jersey Boys), Gareth Keegan (Next to Normal) and Erica Lovell (Little Women, A Little Night Music).   Transport  Transport, tells a universal story of immigration, loss, hope and redemption and the Irish Diaspora to the Australian penal colony.  Under the direction of Stuart Maunder and Musical Director, Anne-Maree McDonald, Transport will be presented on Friday, 25 November and Sunday, 27 November at Sidetrack Theatre.  Cast Includes Jersey Boys’ Stephen Mahy, Mercia Deane Johns, most recently seen on our television screens in Packed to the Rafters, David Downer, Toby Francis, Caitlin Kent, Noni McCallum, Katie McKee (My Fair Lady, Floyd Collins), and Berynn Schwerdt (Spring Awakening). The Good Fight  The Good Fight is set against the background of the 1st World War and concerns the life of legendary boxer Les Darcy and his meteoric rise and fall and will be presented at The Concourse, the stunning new theatre complex in Chatswood on Friday, 16 and Saturday, 17 December. Music by David King, book and lyrics by Nick Enright and with further material by James Millar.  The cast includes Toby Francis, Jamie Ward (Doctor Zhivago, Spring Awakening), Michelle Doake, Melle Stewart (The Hatpin), Christy Sullivan (Next to Normal), Rodney Dobson (Wicked), Christopher Horsey and Justin Smith along with six first and second year WAAPA students. 

Developmental Readings in Melbourne


Carnival Joe  The exuberant and tragically comical tale about the spring racing carnival of 1933, Carnival Joe by Mark Jones & Anthony Crowley is being presented at 2pm on Monday, 5 December at Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance.  Directed by Christian Leavesley with Mark Jones, the original composer as Musical Director. The talented cast includes Sally Bourne, Caroline Gillmer, Ben Grant, Robert Grubb, Jolyon James, Kellie Rode and James Saunders. 
 Developmental Reading TransportWritten by Larry Kirwan &Thomas KeneallyDirector Stuart MaunderMusical Director Anne-Maree McDonaldSidetrack TheatreFriday, 25 Nov – 7.30pmSunday, 27 Nov – 7.30pm Developmental Reading Truth, Beauty & a Picture of YouWritten by Alex Broun & Tim FreedmanDirector Neil GoodingThe FuseboxFriday, 2 Dec – 7.30pmSaturday, 3 Dec – 7.30pmDevelopmental Reading Developmental Reading  Carnival JoeWritten by Mark Jones & Anthony CrowleyDirector Christian LeavesleyMusical Director Mark JonesJason’s Ministry of DanceMonday, 5 Dec – 2pmTo book tickets email [email protected] Developmental Reading The Good FightMusic by David King, book and lyrics by Nick Enrightand with further material by James MillarDirector Rachel MoorheadMusical Director David KingThe Concourse TheatreFriday, 16 Dec – 7.30pmSaturday, 17 Dec – 7.30pm  Snapshot Presentation Sugartownby Katie Weston, Dean Gourley & Katy RooseSidetrack TheatreSaturday, 26 Nov – 11am Featuring the talents of Charles E.C. Grounds, Shaun Kingma, Tyson Legg, , Scott MacKenzie, Melanie O
tt, Jenn Stork and Paul Watson.  Snapshot Presentation Do Good and You Will Be HappyPhillip Johnston & Hilary BellSidetrack TheatreSaturday, 26 Nov – 12.30pmPresented with the talents of Blazey Best, Peter Cousens, Darren Gilshenan and Justin Smith.  Snapshot Presentation The New BlackMarcus Cowora, Stephen Lloyd Helper & Leeroy BilneySidetrack TheatreSunday, 27 Nov – 4pmCast includes Leeroy Bilney, Elaine Crombie, David Page, Emma Palmer, Katrina Retallick and Quan Tran. For more information on New Musicals Australiawww.newmusicals.com.au 

Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com'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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