A Queensland Theatre Company and Queensland Performing Arts Centre production
Original Concept by Michael Tuahine
Directed by Wesley Enoch (The Sapphires)
Country Song is a beautiful, musical, witty and warming journey that celebrates the healing power of music.
Jimmy Little is waiting backstage. He’s been asked to perform the national anthem, in front of an audience that love him and his music. He is an Australian icon; an entertainer first and foremost. But what does it mean to sing this song now? Does it matter? Who is he really singing for?
In Country Song, Jimmy is whisked on a fictional road trip to his past as his story weaves through the history of major social changes of the 1970¹s. Along the way we hear stories of singers Auriel Andrew, Bobby McLeod and Lionel Rose in this tribute to the era and the music that was a soundtrack for a generation. Once a smiling, cheeky child of Vaudevillians, now a poster boy for Indigenous performers, Jimmy takes us through the thoughts of an artist who must weigh up the political power of his voice.
Acclaimed actor and musician Michael Tuahine came up with the original idea for Country Song after being inspired by Walk the Line. Reg Cribb won the 2013 Rodney Seaborn Playwright’s Award for New Work.
Don’t miss this exciting new work coming direct to NORPA from its premiere in Brisbane in July 2015.
Patron advice Recommended for ages 13+
Warning: Replica firearm, mild coarse language, smoke and haze
Adult concepts (race and discrimination)
2 hours and 5 mins (including interval)
Writer Reg Cribb
Cast includes Michael Tuahine
Director Wesley Enoch
Designer Josh McIntosh
Lighting Design Jason Glenwright
Projection Design Optikal Bloc
Musical Director Jamie Clark
Dramaturg Louise Gough
Cast includes Elaine Crombie, David Page, Bradley McCaw, Megan Sarmardin, Michael Tuahine and Tibian Wyles
The Jimmy Little Foundation works in Australia’s most remote communities in consultation with Elders and Councils, government and non-government agencies, health and community services, and schools and individuals to ensure a healthy future for Indigenous Australians.
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“…they laughed and cheered and had a wonderful time… a standing ovation…”
“Although a fictionalised story, “Country Song” has many important things to say as it shines a light on Indigenous Australians who have contributed to the musical and social legacy of this nation. And as it weaves through the political and social landscape, the show’s pacing ebbs and flows through a wonderful soundtrack of music from a range of artists in a journey that will surely have audiences revelling, whether it be in memory of their parent’s collection or nostalgia of their own.”
Blue Curtains Brisbane
“Tuahine does very well to maintain a stage presence… Page is a show-stopper every time he comes on, and Elaine Crombie has a belter of a voice. Bradley McCaw holds the music together from the keyboard, Megan Samardin is suitably feisty as Mt Isa singer Auriel Andrew, while Tibian Wyles looks the part as boxer Lionel Rose.”
“My mate Lee Mylne invited me to COUNTRY SONG at QPAC last night – the journey of Jimmy Little. So much fun – great songs, great script and great nostalgia. Who knew I’d remember a name like Terry Deere from the wireless? Ancient. That aside, the erky part of the show reminded me how we lived through an era where ingrained racism was just how it was – I can’t believe so many of us just shrugged it off as normal. Talking about it to colleagues today, the thing that changed was leadership – we were led by great men, like Gough, to understand how totally unacceptable racism, and all the other isms of the time, were. And we changed. Let’s hope all those decades of good work by good people and good leadership are not undone by the current leadership based on fear, distrust and meanness of spirit. As I stood last night and pumped my fists to a rousing “Black fella, white fella” chorus, it felt like we were still fighting the good fight, not just because we were reliving the past, but because it might be just as necessary to protest in the present climate.”
Julie McGlone, Writer
Thursday 13 August 2015
Come and celebrate local Bundjalung culture
Welcome to Country, diner, bar and music by Blakboi from 6pm
Join Director Wesley Enoch and perfomer Michael Tuahine for a Q&A session, with members of the cast.