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A JC Williamson Musical

The women in Williamson's life: Maggie Moore, Nellie Stewart & Sarah Bernhardt

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A JC Williamson Musical

Dates: 14/08/2017 - 14/08/2018

Location: Musical

A JC Williamson Musical

 

 

Book and lyrics John Senczuk
Music by Tim Cunniffe
Additional dialogue by Justin Fleming
based on an idea by John Senczuk

In Development

James Cassius Williamson and his wife Maggie Moore were already international stars of the stage when the irrepressible entrepreneur George Coppin introduced them to Australian audiences is the huge hit STRUCK OIL in the 1870s. Having seen the potential in the new country, the couple returned within a decade to establish their own production house, featuring the repertoire of the smash-hit London creative team of Gilbert and Sullivan (where, to her irritation, Maggie found herself playing the ‘character’ roles to local and popular ingenue Nellie Stewart).
Williamson’s ambitions are cemented when he teams with Arthur Garner and George Musgrove and they begin leasing theatres in Sydney and Adelaide. But the Triumvirate - and Williamson’s marriage - fractures when it’s decided to refurbish the Princess Theatre in Melbourne to launch a major national mount a tour of the great - and demanding diva - French tragedienne Sarah Bernhardt.
Notwithstanding the defection of Musgrove and Stewart to London; Maggie running off with chorus boy Harry Roberts; Garner’s nervous breakdown; and the very public moral indignation of the Reverend Varley, Bernhardt’s tour proceeds to rapturous applause, if not a tremendous financial return.
In a spectacular rebound, encouraged by his musical director Bert Royal and an emerging romantic relationship with chorus girl Maggie Weir, Williams (in a co-production with George Coppin) mounts Australia’s first home grown musical: THE EUCALYPTUS PRINCE.
The home-grown production is a huge box-office and critical success. In the wash-up, his American wife Maggie grants Williamson his sought-after divorce to open the way for him to propose to his own ‘eucalyptus princess’, Mary Weir.

 

The musical was workshopped by Kookaburra: Gale Edwards (director), Michelle Doake, Tim Cunniffe (Composer), Amanda Muggleton, Alex Lewis, Peter Cousens, Peter Carroll, Justin Fleming, John Senczuk, Chris Tomkinson