The production forms part of the Jeanne Pratt Musical Theatre Artists in Residence program, now in its third year. The program sees a groundbreaking collaboration between Monash University performing arts students and professional artists that aims to create and promote the development of Australian musical theatre.
My Brilliant Career takes us into the world of fiery misfit Sybylla as she wrestles against the restricted life on offer for a young woman in rural Australia a hundred years ago. Growing up in a time when women are supposed to be demure and subservient to their husbands, wannabe-writer Sybylla is desperate to live an independent life, but will she risk it all in hopes of a brilliant career?
Written by Dean Bryant and Mathew Frank, who won Green Room awards for their musicals Prodigal and Once We Lived Here, the score promises a mix of period Victoriana and contemporary pop, bringing vividly to life one of Australia’s most loved feminist characters.
“Making musicals in Australia is hard work,” said Bryant and Frank. With Miles Franklin establishing one of Australia’s most prestigious literary prizes, the pair agreed it was only fitting that another incredible woman, Jeanne Pratt, instigated this ‘unicorn’ of a program.
“My Brilliant Career is about finding your voice and demanding to be heard. Miles Franklin wrote it as a teenager in the late 1800s, and her heroine, Sybylla, still feels radical. She is a girl with no options who values what she has to say above all else and refuses to be likable,” said Bryant and Frank. “Sybylla represents our country perfectly – egalitarian, no-nonsense, ridiculous, droll and a teller of ripping stories.”
Students from the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music and Monash’s Centre for Theatre and Performance join some of Melbourne’s finest music theatre artists and creatives including director, Petra Kalive, to magically bring to life this captivating story that lovers of both the novel and film will enjoy.
The Cast of My Brilliant Career includes Luisa Scrofani (Violet, In The Heights), Andrew Coshan (A View From The Bridge, Thoroughly Modern Millie), Alister Kingsley (Glorious!, We’ve Never Been In Love Before), James Millar (Matilda, Lady in the Van), Natalie O’Donnell (MAMMA MIA!, Songs for a New World) and Anne Wood (Beautiful:The Carole King Musical, MAMMA MIA!).
Director: Petra Kalive Music Director: Ashlee Clapp Set and Costume Design: Chloe Greaves Movement Director: Xanthe Beesley Lighting Design: Paul Lim Sound Design (Production): Marcello Lo Ricco Sound Design (Soundscapes): Darius Kedros
My Brilliant Career – a musical adaptation
Alexander Theatre – Monash University, Clayton Campus
Season: 18 – 25 October 2019
Information and Bookings: www.monash.edu
Image: My Brilliant Career – photo by Sarah Walker