The Lucky Country Musical

Rebecca Varidel
4th Jun 2023

Enormously Enlightening. Fabulously Funny. Hugely Entertaining.

"A New Aussie Musical For All Aussies."

If you live in Australia, and love musical theatre, how many shows have you seen that tell the story of your country? about its heart, its pulse.

The Lucky Country, a 20th century turn of phrase, coined by writer Donald Horne, originally was a tongue-in-cheek term denoting what it meant to be Australian.

In this original new musical, dripping with detail and definition, the extremely talented team delve deeper into the phrase, to explore in this 21st century, what it means to be Australian. What does it mean to live in The Lucky Country if you are Indigenous, Asian or anything but the background of the white British colonial history that has been taught in Australian schools?

"It's seed was my frustration around how Australian identity was reproduced and represented in our storytelling - particularly in musical theatre - and who that did or rather didn't include" explains The Lucky Country writer and performer Vidya Makan.

Five years from conception the audience is gifted an enlightening, funny and hugely entertaining show that sublimely presents these important messages. The vignettes are not heavy. Their individual segments and combined presentation is heart warming and uplifting.

The colours of the The Lucky Country costumes - hues of ochre oranges blues with black - are just glorious, a soul warming nod to the Indigenous throughlines. In the setting of the intimate 111 seat Hayes Theatre, the set design, a simple animated video screen is even more powerful when it pulls through the same colour scheme.

And, the cast. Well. What a vibrant performance from each and every one.

In a song list that includes such new Australian wonders from It's A New Day through Makin' My Way To Byron Bay, Titharr Warra Country, Footy And Beer, Dusty Eski to Hugh Jackman, outstanding triple threat performances from Joseph Althouse, Milo Harthill, Dyagula, Jeffrey Liu (Jeva), Ava Madon, Kristal West, Karl Zaid and Vidya Makan fabulously represent our nation now.

Every song and section was outstanding. The one that shone most brightly and gave the biggest belly laughs was the "Miss Australia" beauty pageant.

The final notes with Billy McPherson leaving the band to play the yidaki front and centre stage and up the Hayes stairs is so brilliantly fitting to this story.

In her first time orchestrating for a musical in Sydney, Heidi Maguire uplifts the music with Australian inspiration through references to Baker Boy, Jimmy Barnes, Kylie Minogue, Paul Kelly and The Seekers.

All together, the talented writing, music lyrics and orchestration, the creatives, crew, band and cast have presented a gorgeous glorious musical that anyone who calls themselves Australian should witness.

Another standing ovation at Hayes Theatre Co.