Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812

Rebecca Varidel
5th Apr 2023

Exciting news for Sydney as Darlinghurst Theatre Company will be presenting the Australian debut of award-winning electro-pop opera Natasha Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 written by composer and lyricist Dave Malloy.

Based on the scandalous slice of Tolstoy’s War and Peace, the musical theatre production centres around the young and spontaneous Natasha and her affair with Anatole and Pierre’s search for meaning in his life.

Musically Natasha, Pierre and The Great Comet of 1812 draws upon an eclectic mix of musical styles including folk, indie-rock, electro-pop and techno, making it one of the most unique and form-defying musicals ever seen. The electrifying musical follows a unique concept of performance where the cast and the orchestra are synonymous while also being paired with the production’s daring score, bold choreography, and immersive staging.

Directed by Dean Drieberg (Hamilton, Resident Director), with musical direction by Claire Healy (SIX, Musical Director), choreography by Brendan Yeates (Hamilton, Resident Dance Supervisor) and set design by Tyler Hawkins, this production won’t be one to miss. Dean Drieberg brings two decades of experience in the theatre industry, vision and skills to the Australian stage. While he is currently Resident Director of Hamilton Australian and New Zealand, Drieberg has also worked on Passing Strange for Antipodes Theatre Company and assisted Jarrod Draper to create his sold out solo shows for Darlinghurst Theatre Company.

This previous connection to Darlinghurst Theatre Company will result in Drieberg taking over the venue to convey his own take on the previous Broadway show through “theatre that will feel more like a party or an event” with its 4D sensorial experience.

“We will be using the Eternity Playhouse in a way that hasn’t been seen before. From being voyeurs into characters' private thoughts to being in the centre of a pulsating club, audiences can expect some surprises along the way - it will be a wild ride" adds Drieberg.

“We are taking a distinctive direction for this brand new production, this is a liberating and exciting opportunity for creatives. The contrasting folk to techno styles within the score invite an innovative approach to the material. Whilst mining War & Peace, we are developing our own style of storytelling that references physical theatre, club culture and contemporary pop concerts. I am thrilled to work alongside a team of out standing traditional and non-traditional theatre creatives and cast to bring this bold vision to life.”

After working in the theatre world across the globe, Claire Healy will bring her creative knowledge and expertise to the musical direction of Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. She is currently the Musical Director for the Australian and New Zealand tour of SIX The Musical where she was nominated for a Green Room Award for Best Musical Direction for her role. She has also completed international tours of her original solo cabaret shows in Edinburgh, Adelaide and Melbourne. Healy is no stranger to Australian debuts as she led the Musical Director role for the nation’s premiere of Well Behaved Women at Hayes Theatre in 2021.

“Comet pulls from so many musical styles, from folk, pop and rock to techno. You never sit too long in one place, and it propels the characters through the story, building an exciting, wild and unexpected world.”

The reimagined musical will also be the first production under Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s newly appointed Executive Director Suzanne Pereira with Artistic Director Amylia Harris working alongside.