With the current debate about of the lack of Australian works being produced in the Music Theatre industry, there has never been a more exciting time for a great new Australian work to be blossoming onto the stage.
Presently in its second week of workshop, Between Worlds is taking shape to be staged at the ATYP on the 15th and 16th of July. With the exquisitely imaginative direction of Jason Langley and Michael Tyack’s creative and detailed musical direction; the original score by Gareth James Hudson and libretto by Nick Higginbotham are really being brought to life.
As an actor, it’s truly inspiring to watch how something can simply lift off the page when given a voice and a body; that’s my favourite part of workshopping new pieces. Nick and Gareth’s new musical tells a fascinating story few people know by using provocative theatricals and music that transports you to Hawaii and beyond. I wish I could share some of the songs with you- it’s really like nothing I’ve ever heard (in a good way!) So I guess you’ll just have to come along and see it for yourself!
Although initial drafts of the musical encompassed Cook’s whole life and used a much larger cast, past workshops have cut the story down to Cook’s final months and the story of his last quest through the eyes of his wife, Elizabeth, who is hearing the tale of his tragic and unbelievable demise for the first time with many of the audience. I certainly didn’t know the events before I began working on the show- I urge you to stay away from Wikipedia until you see the production! Watch first, google after.
The new version somehow manages to include Cook’s exploration for the North-West Passage, beautiful moments of Hawaiian tranquillity, mutiny aboard the Resolution, war on the beaches, and even a few love stories in a short show with a simple set and cast of 17.
It is so refreshing to see a new Australian work that is brave enough to tell a story from hundreds of years ago without the aid of an elaborate set or digital elements. Instead, the cast are used to create multiple settings in the world with their voices, props and movements. I could go on all day about how terrific the cast are; some of their solos – wowee! My favourite thing about Gareth’s writing is the beautiful harmonies he has sewn into the score. Complex! But incredibly beautiful. Every time we sing the group songs (if I’m not concentrating too hard) I get goosebumps from the sounds he has created. I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of a number of workshops, but there is something so incredibly special about this one. I hope you all get along to see it!
Don’t miss out on this stunning new piece of Aussie theatre (see what I did there); book your tickets at betweenworldsmusical.com to be one of the first audiences to ever see Between Worlds!