Queensland audiences and theatre critics alike have gone “Bananas” for the world premiere season of BANANALAND.
The brand-new musical comedy by Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall featured a stellar cast and creative team and was proudly staged by Brisbane Festival and Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) from 16 September to 1 October 20223 in the Playhouse.
A celebration of the glorious absurdity of following an impossible dream, BANANALAND was written by Keir Nuttall and features a knockout score by Kate Miller-Heidke and Nuttall – the award-winning songwriting team behind Muriel’s Wedding The Musical and multiple platinum selling albums.
The all-new musical comedy was directed by industry giant Simon Phillips, internationally renowned for his work on large-scale musicals including Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Ladies in Black and Muriel’s Wedding The Musical, and famed for his stunning visual style and innovative staging.
Brisbane Festival Artistic Director Louise Bezzina said that Brisbane Festival has a long and cherished history of championing new work and was delighted to once again partner with QPAC to bring BANANALAND to life.
“This brand-new Festival commissioned work, featuring an incredible team of experienced professionals, both on and off stage, blew us all away.
“We were thrilled with audience reactions as they experienced the story-telling talent of Kate and Keir and the on-stage powerhouse performances by the amazing BANANALAND cast as part of Brisbane Festival,” she said.
QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said investing in creating new Australian work and nurturing Queensland talent was at the heart of QPAC and central to a long-term partnership with Brisbane Festival.
“Kate, Keir and Simon have such a breadth of talent between them, and Australian audiences had already experienced the wonder of this creative trio with their incredibly successful collaboration on Muriel’s Wedding The Musical.
“We were delighted to work with them again to help bring this endearing and very Australian story to life on our Playhouse stage.
“As a performing arts centre for all of Queensland, it is important for us to support our own artists and creatives in sharing stories that are relatable and engaging. It is especially exciting to be part of a work that reflects Queensland’s sense of humour, our unique take on life and even features a real-life Queensland town.”
The talented BANANALAND cast comprised; Max McKenna (Muriel’s Wedding The Musical, Jagged Little Pill) playing Ruby Semblance, Georgina Hopson (Phantom of the Opera on Sydney Harbour, Jagged Little Pill) as Karen Semblance, Joe Kalou (Hi-5, The Book of Mormon) playing Seb Kale, Maxwell Simon (Moulin Rouge! The Musical, Muriel’s Wedding The Musical) in the role of Ex, Dave Eastgate (Comedy Central’s Ronnie Chieng: International Student, Muriel's Wedding The Musical) as Ron Delbridge, Amber McMahon, (North by North West, Dance Nation) playing Mimsi Borogroves, Jessie Jam Jar, Witney Walkman and others and Chris Ryan (Come Rain Or Come Shine, King Kong) as Stephen King, Wade Sewage, Pikelets the Cat and others, with Erika Naddel and Mark Hill as Standby/Swings.
An uplifting and irreverent musical comedy, with a hook-filled score, BANANALAND is by turns razor sharp and big-hearted.
BANANALAND received standing ovations and widespread critical acclaim during its world premiere season at QPAC with glowing reviews out the BANANALAND opening night video below to find out what audiences thought of Australia’s newest musical.
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