Godspell in the Garden returns

February 1, 2017

Latest news, Theatre




Godspell poster

BACK by popular demand, international musical theatre favourite Godspell returns to the Royal Botanic Gardens for two special Sunday evening performances in February, 2017.

After sell-out performances in February and March last year, the Godspell in the Garden show presented by Simon Myers and Australian Shakespeare Company has become a summer favourite for arts lovers.

Although the production’s premise remains faithful to the 1971 off Broadway original, this version of Godspell has been re-imagined and incorporates a plethora of contemporary additions: street dance, urban acrobatics and modern musical composition.

Featuring a stellar cast including Bonnie Anderson (Australia’s Got Talent), Mark Dickinson (White Christmas/High School Musical UK/Les Miserables/CATS) and Louisa Fitzhardinge (Tune Your Own Adventure/As You Like It), the funked-up musical takes its audience on a heartfelt and exhilarating ride of peace, love and joy.

Jam-packed with classic hits such as Day By Day, By My Side, Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord, Save The People and All For The Best, the event promises to be unforgettable.

Originally conceived by John-Michael Tebelak – renowned American playwright and director and musically composed by Stephen Schwartz (Pippin/Wicked), Godspell hit off-Broadway in 1971 and was immediately beloved by theatre aficionados.

It wasn’t long before it came to Australian shores – opening in Melbourne in 1971 – boasting over 500 sold-out performances from 1971-2.

Based on the story behind the Gospel of St Matthew, Godspell dramatizes the final days of Jesus Christ, featuring rock and roll music set to lyrics from traditional hymns.

Structured around a series of parables, the successful opera is a vibrant celebration of love, joy and humanity.

The enchanting Royal Botanic Gardens could not be a more perfect host to Godspell in the Garden, enabling director Glenn Elston to fulfil his adoration of open air theatre.

Theatre director and producer at the Australian Shakespeare Company, Elston received a Melbourne Award in 2014 in recognition of his long career presenting outdoor theatre in the city and is perfectly placed to bring this re-imagined version of Godspell to fruition.

The reinvented production is produced locally by Simon Myers of Room 8 (The Man in Black – The Johnny Cash Story/At Last – The Etta James Story/Let’s Get It On – The Life and Music of Marvin Gaye), which was founded by Moira Bennett and Simon Myers.

Since 2010 Room 8 has developed into one of Australia’s most promising music and theatre production companies and has received a swag of rave reviews about their ongoing productions.

“Godspell as a piece of theatre brings its own unique challenges — a lot of the text comes directly from the Bible,” says Simon Myers from Room 8. “This production manages to present the text and the songs in a fresh light. Godspell is the ideal family show — there is something in the show for everyone.”

Tickets are on sale now for performances on February 12 and 19 at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne.


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