It was announced this week that Vic Theatre Company will produce concurrent seasons of The Last Five Years and The Gathering beginning 25 November, 2016. A huge undertaking by the company, these performances will take place at alternating times at 45 Downstairs Melbourne, with one creative team working across both shows.
Casting has also been announced for both productions, with Josh Piterman and Helpmann Award winner Verity Hunt-Ballard to star in The Last Five Years, and Joel Granger, Olivia Charalambous, Daniel Assetta, Hannah Sullivan McInerney, Daniel Cosgrove and Shannen Alyce-Quan to be featured in The Gathering.
Mounting a fan-favourite (The Last Five Years) and a new Australian musical (The Gathering) at the same time is a bold choice for any company. But with director Chris Parker musical director Daniel Puckey and designer Daniel Harvey on board, Vic Theatre Company are sure to succeed. Combining the uniqueness of sharing a production space with these exciting show choices means Melbourne audiences are in for a truly original experience.
“The Gathering is the future of music theatre in this country. Smart, slick and witty, it’s a new voice for the new generation,” says Glenn Ferguson, of Vic Theatre Company.
Premiering in 2011, The Gathering, written by Belinda Jenkin and William Hannagan, was originally titled House Warming. The story takes place when six young friends gather for their first night in an old, rickety house. It’s a house haunted by atrocities from the past, a house where no one’s secrets are safe, but it also represents the promise of a new start. The show has been praised by critics as “youthfully optimistic” and “musically complex”.
Jason Robert-Brown’s The Last Five Years is well known to theatre audiences, and tells the story of a relationship from first date to eventual divorce. Featuring one of the most gorgeously emotive scores in the musical theatre genre, the show is a two-hander that sees one character exist in a chronological timeline, and the other recounting the events of their relationship in reverse.
Season details for both shows can be found at the Vic Theatre Company website.