Only Heaven Knows is a musical showing the long march towards equality that homosexuals faced in the 40s and 50s in Kings Cross, an era when being gay was seen as a mental illness, curable with electro-conversion therapy. It’s also about the family we choose, the people that shape our lives, love, lust and friendship.
There were a lot of artists, poets, writers, and creative types living in Kings Cross during that period, but it was also mid-war so there were soldiers and prostitutes too. It was a really cheap and easy place to live. There was a big homosexual community who felt safer there.
Only Heaven Knows is incredibly moving, to see how these people survived and banded together to look after each other. It’s hilarious, crazy fun with big, big characters; a story with a lot of heart, a story about ostracised people, the gay community then at a time when it was illegal to be a homosexual.
Tim, (Ben Hall) a young 17 year old, leaves Melbourne and comes to The Cross to be in a safe place to work out who he is and what he wants to do with his life. The story is told through his eyes.
“It’s a very ensemble piece with five lead characters and they all sing but it’s like a play with songs really. It’s not like a Broadway musical at all, much more fringe like, filmic, like a slice of life. There’s one big choreographed number and all sorts of movement pieces, street scaping to build and create the world we’re in, a world of bustling people moving through the city, the noise, the heat, trying to create that image of The Cross,” explained Ben Hall.
Until Jul 1, Various performance times. Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point. $68-$78. Tickets & Info: www.hayestheatre.com.au or PH: (02) 8065 7337
By Mel Somerville.