We’ve been waiting for this show to grace our shores for nearly 20 years, and now the Australian premiere cast of Side Show has been announced!
Opening at Hayes Theatre Co this September, Helpmann Award winner Kerrie Anne Greenland (Les Miserables) and Laura Bunting (The Voice, Wicked and RENT) will lead the production as twins Violet and Daisy Hilton.
Although some extremely high profile performers submitted audition tapes for the coveted roles (and these audition tapes were shockingly leaked, “breaking the Australian musical theatre internet”, over the last few weeks), the real casting was confirmed this morning.
Lara Mulcahy & Sheridan Harbridge audition for Daisy & Violet in SIDE SHOW!
Brent Hill & Virginia Gay audition for Daisy & Violet in SIDE SHOW!
Nancye Hayes & Hilary Cole audition for Daisy & Violet in SIDE SHOW!
Stars Krizak & Vilar audition for Daisy & Violet in SIDE SHOW!
Directed by Richard Carroll, Side Show will also feature a fantastic supporting cast including Daniel Belle (Les Misérables, The Ten Tenors) Gabriel Brown (Dirty Dancing, Hi-5), Michael Hart (South Pacific, Cinderella), Bree Langridge (Cats, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), Lachlan Martin (Georgy Girl, Strictly Ballroom), Joshua Mulheran (Ghost, West Side Story), Elenoa Rokobaro (Violet, Ghost), Berynn Schwerdt (Away, Antony & Cleopatra), Timothy Springs (Grey Gardens, Showboat) and, making her musical theatre debut, Hannah Waterman (EastEnders, The Whale).
Sisters Daisy and Violet Hilton were beautiful and talented performers; the highest-paid stars of vaudeville in 1930s America. But there was something else which made these real-life stars unique. They were (literally) joined at the hip, and rose to fame from the grim world of circus freak shows.
From the composer of Dreamgirls, Side Show debuted on Broadway in 1997, earning four Tony Award nominations, but only played a limited season. However, the show and its stars Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner developed a cult following and demand for a reworked revival has always been high. Fans were treated to a Broadway revival after an out of town tryout in DC during the 2014-15 Broadway season. This time it was darker, bringing in more true life details about the Hilton sisters and their lives, and featuring new and refreshed songs. Despite good reviews, the revival closed after seven weeks.
Side Show is an ambitious show with unusual content and really seems destined to have its greatest success in smaller theatres, where intimacy and authenticity reign supreme. The dazzling life and searing tragedy of the Hilton sisters is compelling and, on the Hayes stage, all its highs and lows could be as confronting and exciting as the show’s creators always hoped.
The show explores a very special connection between two sisters, their desire for acceptance, their search for true love and their desperate yearning for freedom. Daisy and Violet’s devotion to each other knew no bounds and director Richard Carroll knows he has found the perfect pair in Greenland and Bunting.
“Kerrie and Laura had never met before they auditioned together, but their instant connection was thrilling to watch,” said director Richard Carroll.
“When we heard their powerful voices together singing ‘Who Will Love Me As I Am?’, we knew instantly that they were a perfect match. Their instincts, openness, and lack of inhibition with each other was totally disarming and endearing – just as Daisy and Violet should be. They’re both well-known to musical theatre audiences for their stunning vocal prowess, and Side Show gives them the opportunity to showcase that again, while also giving them the most challenging acting roles of their careers. And to be able to surround them with 10 other excellent actors of such range and variety makes Side Show unlike any other show we have seen at the Hayes.”
Australia’s debut production of Side Show, produced by One Eyed Man Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co plays at Hayes Theatre Co from 23 September for a strictly limited season until 16 October.