Following the success of their multi-award winning production of Miracle City, Luckiest Productions is pleased to present Only Heaven Knows by Alex Harding, the company’s second revival production of an Australian musical. This brand new production will begin in May 2017 at Sydney’s Hayes Theatre Co and marks Only Heaven Knows’ 30th anniversary.
Only Heaven Knows is a beloved musical set in the 1940s and 1950s, telling the story of one young man’s discovery of love and life in Sydney. Tim, a teenage playwright, leaves an unsupportive family in Melbourne and arrives amidst the bohemian by-way of Kings Cross in the summer of 1944 where women and gay men are enjoying unparalleled freedoms after five years of war. Tim soon finds love and a new family in Cliff his ocker lover, Guinea the tough but big-hearted nightclub singer, the flamboyant but sensitive Alan, and proud and fabulous Lana, a poor man’s Robert Helpmann. The Sydney bacchanal soon fades however as the cold winds of intolerance brings in the Menzies era and Tim and his friends must learn to survive hostility in a time before a visible gay community existed.
This production will be a welcome return of the piece to Sydney stages. There have been various productions over the last 30 years, most notably the sell-out season at the Stables, which transferred to the Sydney Opera House in 1995, starring David Campbell. David’s company Luckiest Productions is behind this new production. “I think this is one of the most important Australian musicals that has been created,” says Campbell. “I’ve never experienced such a simple show having such a visceral impact. While it so vibrantly paints the past, it speaks to us about today”.
Luckiest Productions has assembled a stellar cast. Hayden Tee returns from Broadway where he has been reprising his multi-award-winning performance as Javert in Les Miserables to play the dual role of Lea/Lana. Blazey Best is reunited with Luckiest Productions after her breathtaking Sydney Theatre Award-winning performance of Lora-Lee Truswell in Miracle City to play the role of Guinea. Having just finished his critically acclaimed performance of Puck in STC’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Sydney Opera House, Matthew Backer will make his Hayes Theatre Co debut as Alan. Auditions for the lead role of bright-eyed Tim are soon to take place and the successful actor, along with the actor playing the role of Cliff, will be announced in the coming months.
Shaun Rennie returns to Hayes Theatre Co to direct Only Heaven Knows after his highly successful seasons of Rent and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and Daniel Edmonds will be the Musical Supervisor, swapping the massive musical for the intimate having recently been Musical Director on such extravaganzas as Strictly Ballroom, King Kong and Dream Lover.
“Having long felt that Only Heaven Knows was an ideal fit for The Hayes, I am thrilled to be working with Luckiest Productions to reexamine this classic Australian Musical,” says Rennie. “With it being set in and around the streets of Kings Cross, it is a unique and rare thrill to get to work on a story that is so deeply entrenched in this city we love. At its heart Only Heaven Knows is about community and the family we choose. By looking back it reminds us of how far we have come, but also forces us to see how far we have yet to go”.
Only Heaven Knows plays from the 26th of May to the 1st of July 2017 at Hayes Theatre Co.