Shortland Street - The Musical opens November
FERNDALE: UP IN LIGHTS
SHORTLAND STREET – THE MUSICAL HAS ITS WORLD PREMIERE IN NOVEMBER
The moment has finally arrived, New Zealand. Our favourite TV drama will have its musical theatre debut this November with an all-singing, all-dancing cast featuring Lisa Chappell, Mark Hadlow andChris Parker.
Directed by long-time Shortland Street producer and stage director Simon Bennett, the ASB season ofShortland Street – The Musical is an affectionate parody of the TV soap genre. It opens at the ASB Waterfront Theatre on 17 November as part of Auckland Theatre Company’s 2018/19 season.
Fans of the TV show will recognise the iconic characters and classic stories from the earliest years of the popular New Zealand drama, which are specifically drawn from 1992 to 1995.
Remember how yuppie playboy Dr Chris Warner had his feathers ruffled when humanitarian Dr Hone Ropata arrived in town, fresh from Guatemala? And when bratty teenager Rachel McKenna got struck by lightning and fell in love with her gormless bestie, Nick?
In this musical theatre adaptation, Chris and Hone have to ignore their mutual loathing when they find themselves charged with saving the All Blacks, defending a murder case and rescuing the clinic from Chris’ capitalist father Sir Bruce Warner, who wants to turn Shortland Street into a medical resort for the rich and famous.
At the Nurse’s Station, Alison Raynor dreams of true love, Robo-Nurse Carrie Burton wants a baby and Jaki Manu gives breaking the glass ceiling a crack.
Adding a hit of adrenaline to the show are the hilarious songs written by Guy Langford, including Stuck in a Love Triangle, Cliffhanger, The Five Wives of Doctor Warner and, of course, Not in Guatemala Now.
Langford, who conceived and composed the musical, collaborated with Simon Bennett (Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons, Assassins, Into the Woods) over a number of years to create this show. An initial version first saw the light of day at a small development showing as part of Auckland Arts Festival 2017, before being picked up by Auckland Theatre Company.
With his boy-next-door good looks, the multi-talented Guy Langford (Amadeus, Altar Boyz, King Lear, The Hound of the Baskervilles) will take up the pivotal role of Dr Chris Warner.
Also leading the cast are Mark Hadlow (The Hobbit, MAMIL, Nell Gwynn, Last Legs), who will play bothSir Bruce Warner and Dr Michael McKenna, and Lisa Chappell (McLeod’s Daughters, Fallen Angels, Peer Gynt [recycled], Menopause The Musical) playing Nurse Carrie Burton.
Brilliant, award-winning comedy actor Chris Parker (Hudson and Halls Live, Funny Girls, 7 Days) will play the dorky Nick Harrison. Rachel McKenna, the role made famous by Angela Bloomfield, will be played by Comfrey Sanders (Don Juan, Jekyll & Hyde, Lord of the Flies). Katherine McRae will take up the role made famous by her mother, Elizabeth McRae - Marj Neilson.
Shortland Street – The Musical comes to the stage with the blessing of both the TV show’s creators and broadcaster, South Pacific Pictures and TVNZ. The Auckland season is proudly presented by ASB.
With show stopping tunes and brilliant music, audiences are in for a riotous celebration of everything that is uniquely Kiwi about Shortland Street.
Bennett says, “After 26 years, Shortland Street has firmly cemented itself at the heart of Kiwi popular culture. The TV show has put social and topical issues at the centre of its storylines and in this way has traced the social history of NZ through a tumultuous quarter-century. Shortland Street - The Musical takes the characters and storylines of the early years of the show and whips them up into a comic musical confection.”
Following the Auckland season at the ASB Waterfront Theatre, the production will tour to Dunedin, Christchurch, Blenheim, New Plymouth, Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga in March and April 2019. The tour is being produced by Struck By Lightning Ltd.
The ASB Season Shortland Street – the Musical
17 November – 9 December, 2018
Music and Lyrics: Guy Langford
Book: Guy Langford with Simon Bennett
Director: Simon Bennett
Set Design: John Parker
Costume Design: Elizabeth Whiting
Arrangements: Penny Dodd
Choreographer: Olivia Tennet
Nurse Carrie Burton: Lisa Chappell
Sir Bruce Warner and Dr Michael McKenna: Mark Hadlow
Nick Harrison: Chris Parker
Hone Ropata: TBC
Chris Warner: Guy Langford
Marj Neilson: Katherine McRae
Rachel McKenna: Comfrey Sanders
Nurse Jaki Manu: Bronwyn Turei
Kirsty Knight: Torum Heng
Lionel Skeggins: Tom Clarke
Nurse Alison Raynor: Ailis Oliver-Kirby
Ensemble: Kyle Chuen, Rebekkah Schoonbeek-Berridge, Blaise Clotworthy, Ava Diakhaby