Melbourne Theatre Company’s new boutique musical Come Rain or Come Shine, an adaptation of Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro’s comic short story of the same name, will have its world premiere on Friday 24 June at Southbank Theatre.
Ray, Emily and Charlie have been the best of friends since university. As students, Ray and Emily bonded over their mutual adoration of the Great American Songbook, while Emily fell in love with Ray’s roommate, Charlie – despite his terrible taste in music.
Nearly thirty years later, Emily and Charlie are happily married and there’s always a bed for Ray at their place when he visits from overseas. But on Ray’s latest sojourn, Charlie has a favour to ask that could change everything.
Directed by Simon Phillips, with book by Carolyn Burns and original songs by Tim Finn, this MTC NEXT STAGE original is a brand new work from the Helpmann Award-winning team behind the smash hit musical Ladies in Black.
This stunning ode to music, memory and lifelong friendship stars Gillian Cosgriff (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), Angus Grant (Rush) and Chris Ryan (Shakespeare in Love).
“Kazuo Ishiguro is one of my favourite authors. So to gain his approval for a musical adaptation of his short story Come Rain or Come Shine was a particular thrill,” said Tim Finn.
“My wife Marie had given me the Faber edition as a gift. It seemed to me he’d left a few clues within the text. Potential song titles such as Mr Perspective, Prince of Whiners and Gatecrashers caught my eye and I began writing straight away.”
“Luckily for me, my collaborators and dear friends Simon Phillips and Carolyn Burns were also keen to engage, and before too long were all on the same page. To write new tunes that could co-exist alongside Ishiguro’s curated classics from the 30s and 40s was an inspiring challenge,” said Finn.
“It was the saving grace of the Covid lockdown for us – being able to burrow into the bittersweet world of Kazuo Ishiguro’s madcap study of midlife crisis, Come Rain or Come Shine,” said Director Simon Phillips.
“As per usual with Finn/Burns/Phillips collaborations, it started with Tim sending us the book and Carolyn and me laughing and crying over it and convincing ourselves it was indeed musical material.”
“It’s been a joy to work together again, under the wing of MTC’s NEXT STAGE, theatricalising a story that creates a kind of existential farce out of adults behaving badly, while never abandoning the sense of unspoken yearning that’s the hallmark of Ishiguro’s writing,” said Phillips.
Ishiguro’s nine works of fiction has earned many honours around the world, including the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Booker Prize. Come Rain or Come Shine will be the second of his works to be adapted to stage after The Remains of the Day in 2019.
Director: Simon Phillips | Featuring: Gillian Cosgriff, Angus Grant, Chris Ryan | Musicians: Carlo Barbaro, Kieran Rafferty, Patrick Schmidli | Musical Director: Jack Earle | Music Supervisor, Orchestrations & Additional Music: Isaac Hayward | Set Designer: Dale Ferguson | Costume Designer: Sophie Woodward | Lighting Designer: Katie Sfetkidis | Sound Designer: Isaac Hayward | Voice & Dialect Coach: Matt Furlani | Assistant Director: Miranda Middleton
Come Rain or Come Shine
The Sumner – Southbank Theatre, Southbank Boulevard, Southbank
Season: 24 June – 23 July 2022
Information and Bookings: www.mtc.com.au
Image: Gillian Cosgriff, Angus Grant and Chris Ryan – courtesy of MTC