Chris Gordon said the idea for his new musical Getting There came to him as a “slow-boiled epiphany.”
He used to be involved with the Goulburn Gilbert and Sullivan Society back in the 1990s and having been a long-time admirer of country-folk singer songwriter Pat Drummond – he had an idea to write a musical incorporating Drummond’s songs.
Mr Gordon got involved with the Rocky Hill Musical Theatre Company recently and wrote a musical review called Villains and Vixens for them when the group’s proposed performance of Pirates of Penzance fell through.
“I am challenged with writing my own music, so the idea of using someone else’s music seems like a natural choice for me,” Mr Gordon said.
“I contacted Pat and him and gave him a synopsis of the musical and he said go for it.
“It is in the genre of jukebox musicals such as Mama Mia or W Will Rock You, where there is already a bunch of songs and you link them with a narrative.”
Mr Gordon said in creating the narrative to weave the songs around, it helped that Drummond has certain themes in his songs such as standing up to bullies, honour among mates and how tough it can get for people on the land.
He gave the Goulburn Post a brief synopsis.
“There are two mates at school, getting bullied pretty badly. To escape the bullying, a teacher invites one of them, Matt, to go to the Royal Easter Show and man the booth with her,” he said.
“At the show, Matt meets the love of his life and it is all roses for him, while back at the school some bad stuff happens to his mate. Matt feels responsible and runs away.”
“The story picks up six years later when Matt is carving out a career as a travelling journalist, but something happens and he is needed back home, and he has to decide if he can face up to what he ran away from.
“There are certain themes in the piece, including bullying, people losing their farms and job insecurity. It is fiction, but a lot of it Pat and I have both experienced.”
Mr Gordon said the title referred to a phrase often used by battlers when asked how they you going, as in ‘I’m getting there.’
“Pat also generously let me re-write lyrics to one of his songs called Who Are These People – to create this song.”
There are 21 songs in the piece, which runs for about three hours, with an interval.
The musical contains Aussie, country-folk songs that have broad appeal.
Getting There opens this Friday, August 3, at 7pm with a charity performance for Riding for the Disabled. It is in the Goulburn High School Hall. For further information visit the Getting There Facebook page.