Bad Guy Hayden Tee

Rebecca Varidel
22nd Sep 2022

BAD GUY absorbing entertaining intelligent and authentically quirky cabaret, the one man show of musical theatre star Hayden Tee opened last night at Hayes Theatre.

Hayden Tee has performed in musical theatre on Broadway, the West End and across Australia and other countries including his homeland New Zealand. Australians may best remember NIDA trained Hayden Tee as Javert the 'villain' of Les Misérables. It's a lead role he performed on stage around the world for five and a half years. Recently he was also the significantly talented director of 5 ***** musical Jekyll And Hyde.

Apparently, Hayden Tee tells us that although he is quintessentially a positive person, on stage for some reason he is cast in the Bad Guy roles. Hence the inspiration for this show and its title. Take Miss Trunchbull from Matilda The Musical as example. And of course Javert. And yes, he sings STARS in this show, along with a medley of songs from the opening song I'm Bad to Disney and right through to Tony Award winning musical 1776, which he starred in on Broadway. Even if you the audience sit just at this layer, what an extraordinary opportunity Bad Guy is to witness him singing, up close and personal in the intimate setting of Hayes. His vocal delivery, expressions and emotions, eyes and face, and gestures, poignant and perfect.

But scratch beneath the surface and there is a whole lot more layers here, in messages as well as entertainment. This is the show that Hayden Tee wrote during lockdown, and like so many of us he reached personal realisations and insights during that time. In itself that says it all. Lockdown wasn't the bad guy, it actually offered something cathartic and freeing for those who cared to take the journey. Dig deeper.

Truly beyond the show tunes what I loved most about this cabaret was its authenticity. While yes we did get up close and personal to Hayden Tee singing these musical theatre hits, it was his reflections and breakthroughs that made the collective bigger than the individual songs.

There was an unscripted moment where he thanks his hypnotherapist for the help via zoom sessions for his performance anxiety.

Hayden reflected about a stolen loaf of bread, from the time of Victor Hugo, from the time of penal colonisation, vs his Māori heritage. What would a Māori do to someone who stole a loaf of bread? They would feed them of course! Further he took us on a journey of the colonial history of LGBTQI+ and by comparison Māori Takatāpui. 

Bad Guy is playing at Hayes Theatre for a short season until Saturday 24 September. 


Starring Hayden Tee

Written by Hayden Tee and Nigel Ubrihien

Orchestrations by Nigel Ubrihien

Musical Director/Piano Steven Kramer

Guitar Nathan Barraclough

Bass Sam Blackburn

Drums Andy Davies

Cello Sally Schinckel-Brown

Violin Jemima Littlemore