The award-winning producer of Sweet Charity and Little Shop of Horrors, Luckiest Productions, and Hayes Theatre Co, have announced the cast for the Stephen Sondheim-George Furth musical Merrily We Roll Along. A thrilling and compelling Broadway fable about friendship, compromise and the high price of success, Merrily We Roll Along will open at the Hayes this June.
Returning to Hayes Theatre Co in the role of Mary Flynn is Helpmann Award winner and one of Australia’s finest leading ladies Elise McCann (Matilda, Everybody Loves Lucy). In the role of Charley and also returning to the Hayes for the first time since he played Sonny in Xanadu will be Ainsley Melham, who starred as the title role in Disney’s Aladdin across Australia and on Broadway. Recent WAAPA graduate Andrew Coshan (Jersey Boys, MTC’s A View from the Bridge) will perform the role of Franklin Shepard.
Georgina Hopson (Ragtime, West Side Story) will play the role of Gussie while Aaron Tsindos (Muriel’s Wedding, Shakespeare In Love) takes on the role of Joe. Recent graduate from Queensland Conservatorium of Music, Tiarne Sue Yek plays the role of Beth, Evan Lever (Anything Goes, Muriel’s Wedding) takes on Jerome, while Vidya Makan (Six, American Idiot) will perform the roles of KT and Meg.
The creative team is led by the award winning team that gave the Hayes Sweet Charity and Little Shop of Horrors, director Dean Bryant, choreographer Andrew Hallsworth and musical director Andrew Worboys. They will be joined by set designer Jeremy Allen, costume designer Mel Liertz, lighting designer Veronique Bennett and sound designer Dave Bergman.
“When we cancelled a week before rehearsals last year, there was the fear of not being able to fulfil the dream we’d been planning for so long – so pertinent to Merrily’s heartbreaking narrative of the complexities of making art with your closest friends,” said director Dean Bryant. “So to return with Ainsley Melham joining our leading trio, is true wish fulfillment.”
Merrily We Roll Along is the heartbreaker of Sondheim musicals, looking at how the best of friends lose their way as they fight to win at life. It follows a trio of friends – composer Franklin Shepard, his writing partner lyricist Charley Kringas and upcoming novelist Mary Flynn.
The three are primed to change the world through words and music, however success has a way of opening doors that take them further away from what – and who – they love. Famously told in reverse, Merrily We Roll Along is an emotional detective story that investigates how grown-up sellouts are forged from wide-eyed poets.
Merrily We Roll Along brilliantly blends the excitement and energy of a backstage musical with a poignant and emotional contemporary story about the importance of staying true to one’s ideals. It’s a show that crackles with the wit, humour and intensity that embody the spirit of New York City.
With a brilliant “Broadway-style” score and that deep insight one expects from any Sondheim endeavour, Merrily We Roll Along is a spirited and moving cautionary tale for anyone who has ever pursued a dream.
Merrily We Roll Along
Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point
Season: 24 June – 31 July 2021
Information and Bookings: www.hayestheatre.com.au
Image: Ainsley Melham, Andrew Coshan and Elise McCann to star in Merrily We Roll Along – photo by Peter Brew Bevan