The Hayes Theatre Co turns six in 2019 and has just announced a full year’s worth of musicals and cabarets to power you through until 2020.
The season kicks off with the Sydney professional premiere of Monty Python’s Spamalot, based on the 1975 classic comedy film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and featuring songs by original Python Eric Idle.
The show won the Tony Award for Best Musical and played Melbourne in 2007, but that production never made it up to Sydney. Now it’s been given a rethink by director Richard Carroll, who was behind the Hayes’ Calamity Jane, which is continuing to tour the country 18 months after it premiered.
But that production won’t be until March, as the Hayes is closing down for the first two months of the year for renovations to improve the front-of-house facilities (ladies, that malfunctioning sink is finally being fixed).
See the full line-up of shows below.
From March 6
Director: Richard Carroll
Marty Alix, Blake Appelqvist, Rob Johnson, Josie Lane, Aaron Tsindos and Jane Watt will be taking to the stage in this slapdash production from the team behind Calamity Jane, embracing the cartoony, scrappy comedic stylings of Monty Python. If you saw Calamity Jane, you’ll know exactly what to expect. Director Richard Carroll is promising a diverse and cross-gender cast who’ll set off on a mission across England to find the holy grail.
From May 10
Director: Alexander Berlage
Alexander Berlage had a smash hit with the ribald comedy Cry-Baby earlier this year, but is taking a slightly darker turn next year with the musical version of Bret Easton Ellis’s book about Patrick Bateman, an investment banker and serial killer. It was famously turned into a film starring Christian Bale, and the musical version takes its 1980s Wall Street vibes to the nth degree. Patrick is the narrator in the musical, which has a score by Tony Award winner Duncan Sheik (Spring Awakening) alongside classic ’80s songs. Expect blood. Lots of blood.
From June 14
Director: Benita de Witt
This new Australian musical has got a book and lyrics by Kate Mulley and music Andy Peterson. It’s about legendary 1920s Sydney underworld figures Kate Leigh and Tilly Devine, but this won’t be the world premiere – the musical was commissioned by a New Jersey theatre, where it premiered earlier this year.
Catch Me If You Can
From July 19
Director: Cameron Mitchell
Cameron Mitchell has choreographed many of the Hayes Theatre’s most successful shows but will be sitting in the director’s chair for this comedy based on the 2002 Steven Spielberg film of the same name about a successful con man turned security consultant. It wasn’t a runaway success when it premiered on Broadway, but it features a score by the Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, the team behind Hairspray.
Caroline, or Change
From August 23
Director: Mitchell Butel
Fresh off a successful season in The Book of Mormon, Zahra Newman is taking on this acclaimed musical by Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner and Fun Home composer Jeanine Tesori. The musical is based in Louisiana in 1963 and concerns an eight-year-old boy and his family’s maid, a single mother of four. Mitchell Butel is returning to direct at the Hayes after winning the Sydney Theatre Award for Best Director with Violet.
From November 8
Director: Kate Gaul
This is the Hayes’ first foray into Gilbert and Sullivan, but given the cast attached (Thomas Campbell and Andy Dexterity) and director (Sydney theatre stalwart Kate Gaul making her Hayes debut) you shouldn’t expect this to be a stuffy Victorian operetta. They’re promising a gender-bending, hyper-theatrical version that will speak to the satire of Victorian society in this seafaring tale.
The Hayes has got two short seasons of cabarets in 2019 – the first in April and the second in October. Nancye Hayes has performed at the theatre named for her several times – once in the not-exactly-stellar Australian musical, Beyond Desire – but she’s bringing a solo cabaret to the Hayes called, appropriately Hayes @ the Hayes. She’ll be sharing stories and songs from her career as well as tackling less well-known material.
Les Misérables star Kerrie Anne Greenland is tackling Mamma Mia, The Greatest Showman, The Jazz Singer, Cabaret and more in Pictures: Songs from Movie Musicals. There are also cabarets from Hayes favourite Steven Kreamer, Carlotta and Michael Griffiths, who’s bringing his Kylie Minogue show to Sydney. Rob Guest Endowment Award winner and Book of Mormon star Daniel Assetta is teaming up with his sister Chiara for Siblingship, and Catherine Alcorn and Phil Scott are collaborating on 30 Something, a show all about the 1930s.
Mad for musicals? Check out what other big shows are coming up in Sydney.