A group of past and present USQ students from Toowoomba will perform a showcase of Houdini: The Man from Beyond in Sydney this month.
A group of past and present USQ students from Toowoomba will perform a showcase of Houdini: The Man from Beyond in Sydney this month.

Composer chases Jackman

TOOWOOMBA composer Russell Bauer is hoping a home-grown musical selected to be showcased in Sydney this month will entice actor Hugh Jackman back to Australian shores.

A group of talented local actors will perform a section of the exceptional musical, based on the life of the legendary Harry Houdini, for theatre professionals in Sydney on March 19.

Written by Mr Bauer and poet Bruce Dawe AO, and directed by multi-award winning theatre professional Sue Rider, Houdini: The Man from Beyond enjoyed a successful world premiere season at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) last year.

Following the season the musical was submitted to New Musicals Australia; an Arts initiative in Sydney that facilitates workshops, provides networking opportunities and presents emerging work to potential producers and industry experts.

From almost 50 submissions, Houdini: The Man from Beyond was selected as one of seven new Australian musicals to be showcased as part of the Sydney Writer’s Weekend.

Mr Bauer said the 25-minute showcase would be presented by talented former and current acting students from the University's School of Creative Arts.

“This is very exciting; to be a part of a new Australian theatre initiative really speaks volumes about the excellent work being undertaken here at USQ,” he said.

The script, the result of a decade’s labour of love from Mr Dawe and Mr Bauer, is a wonderful combination of fact and imaginative story-telling. Sparkling with catchy songs, tantalising tricks and moving moments, the musical captures the essence of Houdini and his death-defying life.

“Broadway has been trying to mount a musical production based on Houdini’s life, starring Hugh Jackman,' Mr Bauer said. 'After being shelved for the past nine months, it has been postponed again for at least another 12 months. Perhaps Hugh Jackman could be lured back to Australia to star in a Houdini musical that is already completed – this one!”

Caption: A group of past and present USQ students will perform a showcase of Houdini: The Man from Beyond in Sydney this month.



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