Moonshadow given closing notice, Melbourne

Moonshadow The Musical - Image by Belinda Strodder (
Gareth Keegan and Company in Moonshadow The Musical – Image by Belinda Strodder

The cast of Moonshadow – The Musical have been given their closing notice.

The world premiere season, currently playing at the Princess Theatre Melbourne, will be closing four weeks ahead of schedule on August 5.

Although the show was unofficially slated for a tour to Sydney and Perth, it seems unlikely that this incarnation of Yusuf’s fantastical musical will make it past Melbourne at this stage.

Moonshadow opened on May 31 this year to mixed reviews, and features more than 40 of the songs Yusuf penned under the name Cat Stevens.

Moonshadow stars Gemma-Ashley Kaplan, Gareth Keegan, Blake Bowden and Jolyon James in the title role of Moonshadow.

In the last 12 months, there have been numerous show cancellations and early closures sparking interesting discussion about the state of the musical theatre industry.

Other sad musical theatre news over the last 12 months include the slow fade to black on Strange Bedfellows last year, Rock Of Ages’ ‘postponed’ Sydney season, Love Never Dies‘ shortened Sydney season, Every Single Saturday’s cancelled Theatre Royal season, Next To Normal‘s cancelled Captiol Theatre season and An Officer and a Gentleman’s early closure.

Read AussieTheatre’s review here


Erin James is's Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Recent appearances include South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin has written 1,490 articles on AussieTheatre | Read more articles by

Follow Erin: @ErinEJames

  • ronald

    I saw the show, if you like Cat Stevens music, you will love the show, The story was very weak and dark, first half of the show very slow and dark, but the second half I liked it best, bright and breezy. Sad, that had to come to this, I feel sorry for the actors and crew, I wish them all the best.

  • Chris

    The public aren’t stupid contrary to popular belief. Perhaps if some of these “world premieres” were extensively workshopped before being thrust on audiences, they might have a better chance. I just feel sorry for the poor casts and crews. Not to mention the bad taste it leaves in the mouths of the paying public who, more than ever, will go with paying for what they know.

  • Bania

    I saw the show and am not a particularly big Cat Stevens fan. The negative reviews that I read were accurate. It was not a very good production.

  • Maria Lawrie

    I haven’t seen the show and was hoping it would come to Sydney. I did buy tickets to Rock of Ages and Every Single Saturday at the Theatre Royal and Next to Normal at the Capital and am disappointed that I did not get to see those shows. I love musical theatre but feel that it is the current economic climate that may be the reason why ticket sales have slowed down considerably. I saw an Officer and A Gentleman several times and loved it and the music and was disappointed that Universal pulled the pin on the cast recording although I’m glad they did release five songs from the show – pity they did not include Bert LaBonte’s numbers. He really stole the show. I don’t know what the answer is as I am merely an audience member. I will however do my best to continue to support Aussie musical theatre.

  • Shelley

    Very disappointed if it does not come to Sydney. Love Cat Stevens (Yusuf) music, have nearly every record he made.

  • This was a predictable outcome, the story is banal, unoriginal and the songs shoehorned in to move a terrible plot forward. Steven’s has been duped by hubris. Widely loved by Muslims, proudly regaled by Greeks he assumed he could call on these two communities to pay good money to be fed rubbish. His song writing abilities have waned and his assumption that he has a fixed audience of naive , spiritually illiterate hippies to spoon feed him their cash and goodwill has gone west. Let’s hope he gives up music again.

    • HColette

      Theodore, you have been around with your offensive comments on other sites for some time. It sounds as if you have some personal issues to work out that have little to do with the music of Yusuf. It’s one thing to critque a song or a musical, but your overarching anger and aspersions such as “audience of naive, spiritually illerate hippes” reveal a deep and broad bitterness that goes beyond musical tastes or preferences. Why are you so angry? I hope you find some peace in your heart, but that will come only through self-examination.

      • HColette

        Oops – Illiterate – well, better to be a poor typist than to be bitter and angry.

        • Kim

          You are right, Colette, if we were all as brave as Yusuf to follow our dreams, the world would be much brighter.

        • theodoros ellinas

          oops illiterate yes.. and a theatrical wannabe and Steven’s brown nose.

  • David

    Saw the show and liked it, I thought the performance by the cast was brilliant. My only critisim would be that I think that the story could do with a little more work. It used a number of metaphors that I think would be mostly lost on the modern audience who are so use to everything being presented to them.

  • Jan

    My daughter loved the show and saw it many times. I would like to get her a cd of the music of the show for Christmas. Can anyone tell me if this is possible?

  • Jan

    My daughter loved the show and saw it many times. I would like to get her a cd of the music of the show for Christmas. Can anyone tell me if this is possible?

Moonshadow given closing notice, Melbourne