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Hayes Theatre Co 2024 Season
Phograph: Supplied/Hayes Theatre Co (edited by Time Out Sydney)

The Hayes breaks in a new zombie musical, some classics and lots more in 2024

The beating heart of Sydney’s musical theatre scene celebrates 10 years with an out-of-the-box season

Alannah Le Cross
Written by
Alannah Le Cross

The beating heart of Sydney’s musical theatre and cabaret scene resides a short stroll from Kings Cross. At Hayes Theatre Company, magic can happen – undiscovered performers rub shoulders with seasoned stars, and productions here have the potential to feel miles bigger than this humble 110-seat theatre should even be able to pull off. 

Brand-new Aussie musicals cut their teeth here on the same stage where you’ll see bold new takes on the classics, contemporary hits and neglected gems. Several productions that began life at the Hayes have gone on to transfer to other theatres or go on national tours, furthering the company’s unique contribution to the musical theatre landscape.

In 2024, the Hayes celebrates a decade since the doors opened for its first show – and the team put their heads together on a bold program that continues to push the envelope. We’re looking forward to Zombie! The Musical, a brand-new silly Aussie horror musical from the virtuoso behind The Lovers and The Dismissal; the local premiere of Ride The Cyclone, a virally-famous break-out Canadian hit set in Limbo after a freak roller coaster accident; and Flat Earthers: The Musical, a chaotic queer electro-pop musical epic. 

Flat Earthers: The Musical
Photograph: Hayes + Griffin/Brett Boardman | Flat Earthers: The Musical

This is also the first full-year season to be programmed by co-artistic directors Richard Carroll and Victoria Falconer. Combining Carroll’s extensive experience in “proper theatre” and Falconer’s international cabaret chops, the pair has worked hard to exemplify the company’s role in the performing arts ecology, but also to mix things up. 

“[Our 2024 season] will have the stuff we know our audiences love and respond so well to, but also some beautiful new things that will provoke them a little bit. We will bring new voices and people to our theatre, and embrace exactly what’s special when you bring music and storytelling together,” explains Falconer. 

“It's such a special and important space. What we put on there [at the Hayes] has such a great impact on what musical theatre, what cabaret, what all of this kind of work can actually be. We just want to make sure that everybody feels like there's something for them, and there is a voice on that stage that they could really resonate with, and enjoy and be entertained.”

In 2024, you’ll see some of the Hayes’ most diverse programming yet. The mainstage musical program (peruse below) features a rich selection of shows from independent artists and producers both new and returning. Meanwhile, the company also has a renewed commitment to cabaret, demonstrated by a partnership with Adelaide Cabaret Festival to launch a joint cabaret commission. And just to show off, the Hayes is also throwing its first ever Festival of New Work. Look no further for Australia’s equivalent to the off-Broadway scene – exciting musical theatre starts here. 

Hayes Theatre Company’s 2024 Season

The Hello Girls

Performances from January 10

Will you answer the call? The Hello Girls is a contemporary musical brimming with folk and pop earworms, charting the little-known story of a feisty bunch of trail-blazing women who turned the US Army on its head and made history. Presented in association with Heart Strings Theatre Company, this production marches into Sydney after a recent debut in Canberra. 

Book, Music and Lyrics by Peter Mills 
Book by Cara Reichel 
Director Jason Langley 

Zombie! The Musical

Performances from March 8

Sydney, Australia. It’s the turn of the 21st century, and a dedicated community theatre troupe is frantically rehearsing in the final hours before their big opening night. Little do they know that beyond the theatre's walls, a highly infectious disease is rapidly spreading through the city – turning its victims into full-blown zombies. Will humanity take its final bow, or can the power of musical theatre save the friggin’ world? The Hayes’ first in-house production for 2024 comes from the brain of Laura Murphy, the same musical theatre mastermind behind recent hits The Lovers, a pop musical reimagining of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Bell Shakespeare, and music and lyrics for Gough Whitlam musical The Dismissal. If you’re a fan of Heathers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer or anything proper Aussie, you’ll be into this. It’s gonna be bombastic. 

Book, Music, and Lyrics by Laura Murphy
Director Darren Yap

Tell Me on a Sunday at the Hayes
Photograph: Hayes Theatre Co/Marnya Rothe | Tell Me on a Sunday

Tell Me On a Sunday

Performances from April 12

Director Blazey Best brings a fresh new perspective to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Don Black’s classic Tell Me On A Sunday, a one-woman show that charts the course of a young English girl newly arrived in New York. Brimming with optimism, she sets out to seek success, companionship and, of course, love. But as she weaves her way through the maze of the city and her own anxieties and heartaches, she begins to wonder whether – in fact – she’s been looking for love in all the wrong places. 

Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber 
Lyrics by Don Black 
Director Blazey Best 
Musical Supervisor Guy Simpson
Musical Director David Gardos
Starring Erin Clare 

Ride The Cyclone

Performances from May 23

The Australian debut of this wild new musical lands Down Under off the back of a freewheeling hype-train that’s seen Gen Z-ers embrace it with a viral fandom that’s spread across social media – which is to say, it’s big on TikTok. It’s also Richard Carroll and Victoria Falconer’s baby this season. So what’s it about? In this hilarious and exhilarating show, the lives of six teenagers from a Canadian chamber choir are cut short in a freak accident aboard a rollercoaster. When they awake in Limbo, a mechanical fortune teller invites each to tell a story to win a prize like no other – the chance to return to life. Bursting with witty, memorable songs and featuring some of the most compelling characters in modern musical theatre, this remarkable show makes a uniquely uplifting and deeply funny case for what makes a life worth living. 

Book, Music & Lyrics by Jacob Richmond & Brooke Maxwell 
Additional Material by Alan Schmuckler 
Director Richard Carroll 
Musical Director Victoria Falconer
Choreographer Shannon Burns 

Little Women

Performances from July 12

It’s the coming-of-age story that just won’t stop giving – now, in musical form. Joshua Robson Productions (City of Angels, Bonnie & Clyde) presents this enchanting production that continues to resonate with audiences, reminding us of the enduring relevance of Louisa May Alcott's beloved novel. Little Women captures the essence of sisterhood, love, and the pursuit of one's dreams. In a world where gender equality and the empowerment of young people are ongoing conversations, Little Women serves as a poignant reminder of the strength and resilience of women throughout history. 

Book by Allan Knee 
Music by Jason Howland 
Lyrics by Mindi Dickstein 
Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott 
Director Amy Campbell 
Music Director Zara Stanton
Costume Designer Esther Zhong 

Holiday Inn at the Hayes
Photograph: Supplied/Hayes Theatre Co | Holiday Inn

The Turn of the Screw

Performances from August 16

For the first time ever, opera fills the intimate Hayes space with Benjamin Britten’s spine- chilling masterpiece The Turn of the Screw. This gripping tale unfolds in a remote English manor, as a young governess arrives to care for two orphaned children, Flora and Miles. She soon discovers that the grounds, and the children themselves, are haunted by mysterious apparitions. As the governess fights to protect her wards from the sinister forces that surround them, the line between sanity and madness becomes thrillingly blurred. Hauntingly beautiful melodies merge with dissonant harmonies to perfectly capture the ghostly ambiance of Henry James’s classic gothic novel (which was also the inspiration for the Netflix hit The Haunting of Bly Manor).

Opera by Benjamin Britten
Libretto by Myfanwy Piper after a story by Henry James
Director Craig Baldwin 

Flat Earthers: The Musical

Performances from October 11

The Hayes is teaming up with the home of new Australian playwriting, Griffin Theatre Company, on this beautiful and chaotic electro-pop musical epic. Somewhere on the fringes of the internet, Ria e-meets Flick and instantly falls in analogue love. They’ve never actually met IRL, but their passion is as real as the moon landing, the Loch Ness Monster and the flying saucers over Roswell. That is, until Ria learns with horror that Flick is a ‘Flat Earther’ – and Flick learns with horror that Ria is a ‘Globe Earther’. These star-cross’d lesbians tumble into the depths of the dark web – where the most far-out, dangerous conspiracy theories turn out to be very, very real.

Book & Lyrics Jean Tong & Lou Wall
Songwriting Lou Wall & James Gales 
Music Production James Gales 
Director Declan Greene 

Holiday Inn

Performances from November 22

Did someone say Christmas show? Bursting with irrepressible charm, irresistible humour and a nostalgia that promises to delight – Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn tap dances onto the Hayes stage to ring in the festive season. Hoofer Jim Hardy says goodbye to the hustle and bustle of big-city showbiz to settle down on his farmhouse in Connecticut. He longs for fresh air and ‘Blue Skies’, but it turns out life isn’t the same without his beloved song and dance. Enter Linda, a passionate schoolteacher with talent of her own. Together, Jim and Linda – with the help of unlikely friend and local handy-gal Louise – transform the farmhouse into a fabulous inn, with dazzling performances to celebrate the holidays. It isn’t all bright lights and razzle dazzle, however, when Jim's best friend Ted tries to lure Linda away to be his new Hollywood dance partner. Will Jim be able to salvage his last chance at love and finally dance ‘Cheek to Cheek’ with Linda? 

Based on the film from Universal Pictures
Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Book by Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge 
Director Sally Dashwood 
Choreographer Veronica Beattie George 

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