Ahead of tonight’s Helpmann Awards, the Queensland Theatre Company has announced that six-time nominee Ladies in Black will tour nationally in 2017, including an encore season in Brisbane.
Adapted from Madeleine St John’s 1993 novel, The Women in Black, the production has been brought to life by Australian screenwriter Carolyn Burns and acclaimed director Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Love Never Dies), with original music from legendary singer-songwriter Tim Finn (of Split Enz and Crowded House fame).
A stylish story of fashion and friendship in 1950s Australia, Ladies in Black made its world premiere in Brisbane last November.
The show — which features over 20 original songs by Finn, as well as 30 custom-designed and created dresses and suits — actually had its genesis at Brisbane Airport, when Finn was looking for a book to read and settled on The Women in Black. He loved it, and called Simon Phillips to plant the seeds for a stage production in the director’s mind. He even started writing the music on the plane.
A hit with critics and audiences, the show has been nominated for six Helpmann Awards — a particularly impressive haul for a production from Queensland, which is often overlooked at the Helpmann Awards — including Best New Australian Work, Best Director of a Musical, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, Best Music Direction and the coveted Best Musical gong.
Now the show is set to make its debut in Sydney and Canberra, and return for encore seasons in Brisbane and Melbourne.
Details are thin on the ground at this stage, but the cast and all show dates will be announced at a national launch event to be held on Monday 15 August in Sydney.
Did you catch Ladies in Black at the QPAC Playhouse? What did you think? Have your say in the comments below!