Director, actor and producer, Jay James Moody and his very own Theatre Company, Squabbalogic, are presenting a brand new musical based on the dismissal of Gough Whitlam at the Seymour Centre. It will be a short run as the production is billed as a pre-world premiere which means that the company needs to gauge audience response before taking the show on a national tour. The audience will be able to experience first hand the inner workings of the musical genre and what it takes to get a show of this magnitude on the stage.
In fact, why not look beyond a national tour and put a musical on a very divisive aspect of Australian political history on the world stage? The Americans did it with Hamilton, and Australians have had a huge success with Keating, the musical. Moody has said that he prefers to take on obscure musicals and make them great rather than the major productions already well known to audiences, though he has done so with Man Of La Mancha, and The Book Of Mormon, due to competitive licensing laws.
How does he find these obscure gems?
According to Moody, “Everyone knows someone who knows someone in this industry but as a somewhat maniacal, bossy person, in the role of director, I need to work very closely with choreographers and composers I can trust not to sugar coat things.”
A musical requires a great deal of collaboration with a long process of rewriting and reshaping before being satisfied with the final product. According to Moody he along with fellow writer, Blake Erickson and lyricist Laura Murphy, are rewriting every day and “testing the extremities of the characters.” These are characters with whom many of us are familiar, Gough Whitlam, John Kerr, Malcolm Fraser and many more who have played their parts in our political arena.
Jun 18-22. Seymour Centre, City Rd & Cleveland Street, Chippendale. $66-$74+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.seymourcentre.com
By Renee Lou Dallow