The Rocky Hill Musical Theatre Company will be performing a brand new, home-grown musical, Getting There in August.
An information information night about it is being held this Friday, February 2 from 7pm at the Essential Employment and Training building (the old Tully Park Tavern) on Taralga Road.
Written by Chris Gordon and featuring the songs of Pat and Geoff Drummond, the show features a lot more dialogue than any of their previous shows and director Chris Gordon described it as as an “evolutionary step.”
“There wasn’t a lot of dialogue in Seussical or Joseph and his Technicolour Technicolor Dreamcoat, so I think it’s an obvious next step for us to take,” he said.
“I think it will stretch us and test out our acting chops.”
Mr Gordon, who also wrote the musical revue Villains and Vixens for the company last year, said it would challenge the company in more areas than just acting and singing.
“For Seussical and Joseph, we hired shows that had already been performed,” he said.
“So with that we received a whole lot of materials to assist with the production that we don’t have this time around. We’re building this from the ground up – no score, no arrangement, no designs and no audience familiarity.
“It’s a mammoth undertaking and a bit nerve-wracking, but I’m confident we can put together something really special.”
Mr Gordon said Getting There had a conventional style not unlike MGM musicals, but with a genuine Australian flavour supplied by Pat Drummond’s music.
While perhaps not as well-known as some of the leading lights in Australian country music, Pat Drummond has collected a swag of awards in over 40 years as a performer including a Tamworth
Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mr Gordon said that one of the aims of the show was to introduce Drummond’s music to wider audience.
“Pat has this treasure trove of great songs that paint so many aspects of contemporary Australia,” he said.
“He had his performance origins in Aussie pub rock, before gradually shifting into folk and country from when he played with the Bushwhackers, and all of those influences are in this show.
“He frequently returns to themes of bullying, standing up for yourself, rural dislocation and finding your way in the world and those are central themes of the show. There are some tragic and heartfelt moments, but a lot of fun as well.”
The story also covers a lot of ground… starting in suburban Sydney before moving to the Royal Easter Show, the Northern Territory and the South Coast of NSW.
Mr Gordon said that the doors are wide open for anyone to assist with the project in any way they can, be that on stage or off, whether they’ve been involved in a musical before or not.
“It’s going to take a village to make this thing,” he said.
“We need actors, singers, dancers and a band… we need backstage, wardrobe, makeup, design and construction… the whole kit and caboodle.”
“There are spots for kids, young kids through to teens… right through to the grandfather of one of the lead characters. We’d like to think there’s something for everyone.
“And if you’ve never done a show before, this is a good one to start with. There are lots of small parts, some that don’t sing at all, some that don’t speak at all. Being in a show is such an amazing experience, we urge anyone who has even vaguely considered the idea before to give us a thought.”
With no performing arts centre in town, the RHMTC has had to make use of a variety of venues for its three previous shows.
With Goulburn’s performing arts centre still some time away, the setting up of venues including sound and lighting has been an expensive exercise and Mr Gordon said he’d welcome any sponsors that might like to assist the show.
There is an information night for Getting There on Friday February 2 from 7pm at the Essential Employment and Training building (the old Tully Park Tavern) on Taralga Road.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the show is invited. For further information, contact Chris Gordon on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published as A new musical featuring the songs of Pat Drummond in the Goulburn Post.