The New Ladies in Black are stepping out again in 2017

They’re back in black!
Queensland’s smash hit musical Ladies in Black to tour in 2017
Sydney | Brisbane | Melbourne | Canberra

Director: Simon Phillips
Musical Director: David Young Orchestrations: Guy Simpson
Designer: Gabriela Tylesova Lighting Designer: David Walters

Queensland Theatre Company has announced that the critically acclaimed, smash hit and Helpmann-Award winning musical Ladies in Black will tour nationally in early 2017, opening in Sydney on January 3 for its premiere season in the city in which the story is based. The show will then return for an encore season to Brisbane from January 28, before another encore season in Melbourne from February 25, and to Canberra from March 27.

From the adaptation of Madeleine St John’s 1993 novel, The Women in Black, this acclaimed production has been brought to life by Australian screenwriter Carolyn Burns and internationally-acclaimed director Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Love Never Dies) with original music from legendary singer songwriter, Tim Finn OBE (Split Enz, Crowded House).

The world premiere of Ladies in Black, the stylish story of fashion, friendship and 1950s Australia took place in Brisbane in November 2015 with the frock-fest signalling a stunning and triumphant return of musical theatre for the company. Last month Ladies in Black won the coveted Helpmann Award for Best New Australian Work and was nominated for another five awards.

The show features over 20 original songs written by Tim Finn and a stunning range of some 30 custom-designed and created dresses and suits. The genesis of Ladies in Black actually happened at the Brisbane Airport – Tim Finn was famously looking for a book to read, bought The Women in Black and on reading it, was compelled to call Simon Phillips and plant the seed for a stage production. On the plane, he started writing the music. The rest is history.

Revisiting the role of Lisa, the young starry eyed school-leaver is Queensland-born rising star, Sarah Morrison. Sarah studied Opera at the Queensland Conservatorium after high school, and then moved to Victoria to follow her first love in musical theatre. In this her first pivotal role, she has won acclaim and ovation.
Ladies in Black 2 - Photo by Rob Maccoll
The brilliant Bobby Fox, who wowed audiences playing Frankie Valli in the smash hit, Jersey Boys, returns as Rudi (otherwise known as the ‘Continental’) along with the multi-talented and award-winning artist Carita Farrer Spencer who will play Mrs Miles, and fellow Queensland graduate and music and stage star Kathryn McIntyre who will play Myra. Accomplished Melbourne-based actor Greg Stone (Once, The Weir, The Glitch) takes on the dual roles again as Mr Miles and Stefan, and joining him from the southern state Kate Cole again takes to the stage as the characters Miss Cartwright and Joy.

New to the cast for the Australian tour is the leading lady of stage and screen Natalie Gamsu (Strictly Ballroom, Mary Poppins, Dr Zhivago, Neighbours) who will play the character of Magda, as well as Sydney-based Madeleine Jones who was nominated for a Helpmann Award in 2015 for her work in Once. She will play Patty.

Taking the role of Fay is leading singer and stage performer, Ellen Simpson, who was most recently seen as Renee Geyer on television screens in the blockbuster tele series, Molly.

Two cast members remain yet to be announced.

QTC Artistic Director Sam Strong said the national tour of Ladies in Black was the perfect reflection of Queensland Theatre Company and its commitment to create nationally acclaimed theatre. “I’m thrilled to be launching the national tour of Ladies in Black. At QTC we couldn’t be more proud of this joyous new Australian musical. In its first life, this beautiful show charmed audiences in Brisbane and Melbourne. We’re delighted to be bringing it back to those cities where audiences couldn’t get enough. We’re also delighted to take the show to new cities, including Sydney where it is set, so it can weave its spell on thousands of new people.

“The show embodies our new vision to lead from Queensland. Ladies in Black captures the future of the QTC and is a shining example of what we will be doing in years to come: combining the best artists from inside and outside Queensland, spotting the brightest new talent first, creating landmark new Australian stories, and launching world class world premieres in Brisbane. Stay tuned for even more about the future of theatre in Queensland when we launch our 2017 season on 12 September.”

Ladies in Black – national tour
Cast Includes: Natalie Gamsu, Bobby Fox, Kathryn McIntyre, Carita Farrer Spencer, Greg Stone, Kate Cole, Madeleine Jones, Ellen Simpson and Sarah Morrison as Lisa.
Website: #ladiesinblack2017

Sydney – Sydney Lyric Theatre
3 – 22 January 2017
Phone: 1300 795 267 or

Brisbane – Playhouse, QPAC
28 January – 19 February 2017
Phone: 136 246 or

Melbourne – Regent Theatre
25 February – 19 March 2017
Phone: 1300 111 011 or

Canberra – Canberra Theatre Centre
27 March – 2 April 2017
Phone: (02) 6275 2700 or

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