The recent trend of workshopping new musicals in Australia looks like its set to continue.
Following in the footsteps of Dream Lover and An Officer and a Gentleman, Moonshadow the new musical by Yusuf Islam (formally Cat Stevens) will be workshopped in Melbourne during October. While the musical has previously been workshopped in London, a full production has yet to be mounted. It is believed that at this stage the world premiere is scheduled for 2012 in Melbourne.
The musical, co written with Rachel Wagstaff, features many of Islam’s well known songs including ‘Father and Son’, ‘Wild World’ and of course the title track ‘Moonshadow’. When the singer toured Australia in June 2011 he included a 30 minute preview of the musical as part of his concert (as featured in the video below).
While musical theatre may seem a long way from the Cat Stevens we know from the 70’s, it is closer than we expect as he explains in this 2010 interview with The Australian’s Lain Sheddon:
“Because I grew up in the hub of entertainment in the West End, everything had to do with musicals and films and music,” he says. “I got infatuated by those kind of mediums. West Side Story was probably the biggest one in my life and that energised me and my friends towards musicals. Then the Beatles came along and demonstrated what was possible with a guitar.”
The creative team have been developing a script over several years for the Melbourne workshop, which will be held over 2 weeks. The Australian actors involved in this workshop will be working with Yusuf Islam and director Anders Albien on the project. The plot follows a young man known as Stormy in a temptation-filled journey through a world with no sun, only moon, as he searches for enlightenment. In Yusuf’s own words, the show takes place on:
“A tiny planet somewhere out in the distant corner of the universe, where the sun never shines, birds never sing, and no-one has seen the warm light of day”
It is understood that there are at least 9 roles in the show, including Stormy’s father (who sings the well known song ‘Father and Son’) and a character called Moonshadow.