NORMIE to Have World Premiere Production in Melbourne, Nov. 23-Dec. 1
Back to the Article
by Nicole Rosky
"Normie," an exciting new musical charting the highly successful and controversial 1960s experiences of Australia’s first King of Pop, will have its world premiere in Melbourne on November 23.
The fast-paced show draws on Normie Rowe’s hit-laden song list as well as other 60s classics, plus original songs capturing the spirit of the times. It tells how Normie, a talented choirboy, sung his way out of the working-class suburb of Northcote to score a brace of Top 10 hits, be twice crowned pop’s monarch and successfully tour the UK and the US before being called up. Normie then comes home from serving in Vietnam to find that the times, and his world, have dramatically changed. Along the way it colourfully captures the significant moments and moods of the 60s – the anti-war demonstrations, President LynDon Johnson in Australia, the political turmoil, the fashion and the music.
“To say I am thrilled is an understatement,” Normie said. “It’s a great honour to have your life and career put up on stage like this, and an amazing feeling to re-live all those experiences, many of which, when looking back, were quite incredible.”
Normie will star in the production, but not as himself. In an ironic twist, he will be playing Harold Holt, the charismatic Prime Minister who succeeded Sir Robert Menzies and oversaw Australia’s growing involvement in Vietnam, but who dramatically disappeared in December 1967 while swimming at Cheviot Beach, Portsea. It gives Normie the opportunity to display his highly praised musical theatre talents, honed on two years playing Jean Valjean in the Sydney production of Les Miserables, as well as working on Annie, Chess and Evita. New songs have been written specifically for the role.
The show will also feature Julian Campobasso as Normie Rowe, David McLean as Sir Robert Menzies, Emma Newman as Marci Jones, Gail Bradley as Zara Holt, Jamie Pearce as Captain Blake, and David Ferrier as Stan Rolf within the cast of 28 performers.
The musical will feature all the hits from Normie’s catalogue, including "Que Sera Sera," "It Ain’t Necessarily So," and "It’s Not Easy." The show, written by Graeme Johnstone, with original music composed by Peter Sullivan, is being directed by Simon Eales. Musical Director is David Wisken.
"Normie" is a groundbreaking production for Old Scotch Music & Drama (OSMaD). “Up until now, we have done extremely well with award winning seasons of classic works such as My Fair Lady, Les Miserables and Jesus Christ Superstar,” said Richard Beveridge, OSMaD President. “This time we have the unique opportunity to work on a brand new musical and showcase it to the world. The cast and crew are really excited, particularly with the chance to work with a pop and theatre superstar of the calibre of Normie.”
"Normie" will be presented at the Geoffrey McComas Theatre, Scotch College, Hawthorn from November 23 to December 1. For tickets and more information, visit www.osmad.com.au or call 03 9514 2091.