Theatre in Wales

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WORLD-PREMIERE OF AN EPIC ROMANTIC MUSICAL     

WORLD-PREMIERE OF AN EPIC ROMANTIC MUSICAL BOOK AND LYRICS – COLLEEN MCCULLOUGH
MUSIC – GLORIA BRUNI
DIRECTOR - MICHAEL BOGDANOV

***PETER KARRIE AS THE CARDINAL***

***CHANNEL 4'S MUSICALITY'S MATHEW GOODGAME TO STARS AS FATHER RALPH ***

The Grand Theatre, Swansea 3 & 4 April (previews) 21 - 25 April
The Arts Centre, Aberystwyth 28 April - 2nd May
The Venue Cymru, Llandudno 5 - 9 May
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff 7 - 11 July

COLLEEN MCCULLOUGH
LEGENDARY AUTHOR OF ONE OF THE GREATEST ROMANTIC NOVELS OF ALL TIME IN WALES and AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW

Considered as one of the greatest romantic novels of modern time, THE THORN BIRDS has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, and when in the eighties it was turned into a mini-series, it was one of the most widely watched TV dramas ever. Now, 31 years after the publication of the novel, author COLLEEN MCCULLOUGH has turned THE THORN BIRDS into a stage musical and will premiere in Swansea and visit twelve UK venues.

THE THORN BIRDS will be staged by THE WALES THEATRE COMPANY, directed by its internationally-acclaimed, multi-award-winning Artistic Director MICHAEL BOGDANOV. The Composer is opera star GLORIA BRUNI, who has composed, and had performed, her Requiem for Pope John Paul II at the Vatican. The sheer class continues right through to the Costume Design, which comes from the designer of Princess Diana’s wedding dress, DAVID EMANUEL. What could be more fitting, for a show which recounts one of the most epic romances of the 20th century?

Father Ralph de Briccasart will be played by MATHEW GOODGAME who made his West End debut in 2004 playing Billy in CHICAGO after winning the popular Channel 4 series MUSICALITY West End Star HELEN ANKER (CATS, FAME, CRAZY FOR YOU and most recently in CANDIDE with the ENO) will play Meggie Cleary and Welsh star PETER KARRIE will play The Cardinal di Contini-Verchese. (Full cast/creative details available at www.thethornbirdsmusical.co.uk)

For THE THORN BIRDS is an immense, heroic tale of hardship, violence, dark and conflicting passions, naked ambition, secrets, lies, money, manipulation and a scandalous legacy of forbidden love, spanning the lives of three generations of the Cleary family as they struggle to survive in the harsh and rugged vastness of the Australian outback. It is a magnificent, sweeping story, the real stuff of which great musicals are made.

It comes from the pen of a woman whose own story is arguably as remarkable as that of one of her characters. Born into the nomadic life of stockmen and sheep-shearers in Western Australia 71 years ago, through sheer grit, determination and application, COLLEEN MCCULLOUGH achieved academic excellence and eventually became a teacher and director of the Department of Neurophysiology at Yale, where she worked for a decade. This work – even at such an elevated level – was so poorly remunerated that Colleen turned to writing to eke out a living. THE THORN BIRDS was the result, and changed her life forever. She has now written seventeen novels in multiple different genres, she holds the Order of Australia, and she’s been awarded the title of Living National Treasure of the Australian nation.


THE THORN BIRDS musical has been some 15 years in gestation. It was in the early nineties that GLORIA BRUNI speculatively sent COLLEEN MCCULLOUGH three songs on the Thorn Birds theme. She was deeply impressed, the two decided to work together on creating a full-scale musical, and this work is the final outcome.

Arguably, a long journey for the desired outcome, just like that which the mythical bird of the title undertakes for its thorn tree. Will the song that emerges at the end be as beautiful as the song of legend? With such legendary talents involved in this great project, the odds are far more than even.
 
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009back

 

 

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