One of Australia’s most acclaimed stars of the stage and screen, the multi-award winning actor Trisha Noble, has been announced to join the cast of Ladies in Black for the national tour in 2017.
The smash hit and Helpmann-Award winning musical Ladies in Black produced by Queensland Theatre Company will open in Sydney on 3 January 2017 for its premiere season in the city in which the story is based. The show will then return for an encore season to Brisbane from 28 January, before another encore season in Melbourne from 25 February, and to Canberra from 27 March.
Ms Noble joins a stellar cast under the internationally-acclaimed director Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Love Never Dies) with original music from legendary singer songwriter Tim Finn OBE (Split Enz, Crowded House). From the adaptation of Madeleine St John’s 1993 novel, The Women in Black, this applauded production has been brought to life by Australian screenwriter Carolyn Burns together with Phillips and Finn. Trisha will play the dual roles of Miss Jacobs and Mrs Crown.
Since returning home to Australia, having enjoyed a highly successful career spanning two decades in the UK and the USA, Trisha has continued to show her versatility in a diverse range of roles on stage, television and film. These include guest roles in the mini-series Blonde, All Saints and Water Rats, and starring roles in musicals including Dusty (National Tour: Dusty Promotions), Leader of the Pack (Leader Entertainment), Footloose (SEL and GFO) and the dramatic play Three Winters Green. She created the role of Thelma O’Keefe in the musical Shout (National Tour: Jacobson Entertainment) for which she received a Green Room Award nomination for Best Female Artist in a Featured Role and two consecutive Mo Award nominations for Female Musical Performer of the year.
As a tribute, an extended episode of This Is Your Life recognised her outstanding career.
On film Trisha joined the Star Wars movie family as Jobal Naberrie in Star Wars: Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode 3 – Revenge of the Sith. In 2007 Trisha performed in the inaugural Kookaburra production of the musical Pippin for which she received a Helpmann Award nomination for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical. Subsequently Trisha performed her favourite role to date – the part of Marmee in the Kookaburra production of the Broadway musical Little Women.
She also played the role of Anna in the world premiere of the musical Dr Zhivago (GFO). Trisha is a Logie Award winner and also a qualified teacher of speech and drama. She holds a Diploma in Theatre Performance from the IMEB and a CVCA (High Distinction) from the AMEB.
The world premiere of Ladies in Black, the stylish story of fashion, friendship and 1950s Australia took place in Brisbane in November 2015 with the frock-fest signalling a stunning and triumphant return of musical theatre for the company. Just recently Ladies in Black won the coveted Helpmann Award for Best New Australian Work and was nominated for another five awards.
The show features over 20 original songs written by Tim Finn and a stunning range of some 30 custom-designed and created dresses and suits. The genesis of Ladies in Black actually happened at the Brisbane Airport – Tim Finn was famously looking for a book to read, bought The Women in Black and on reading it, was compelled to call Simon Phillips and plant the seed for a stage production. On the plane, he started writing the music. The rest is history.
Revisiting the role of Lisa, the young starry eyed school-leaver, is rising star, Sarah Morrison. Sarah studied Opera at the Queensland Conservatorium after high school, and then moved to Victoria to follow her first love in musical theatre. In this her first pivotal role, she has won acclaim and ovation.
The brilliant Bobby Fox, who wowed audiences playing Frankie Valli in the smash hit, Jersey Boys, returns as Rudi (otherwise known as the ‘Continental’) along with the multi-talented and award-winning artist Carita Farrer Spencer who will play Mrs Miles, and music and stage star Kathryn McIntyre who will play Myra. Accomplished actor Greg Stone (Once, The Weir, The Glitch) takes on the dual roles again as Mr Miles and Stefan, and joining him will be Kate Cole who again play the characters Miss Cartwright and Joy.
New to the cast for the Australian tour is the leading lady of stage and screen Natalie Gamsu (Strictly Ballroom, Mary Poppins, Dr Zhivago, Neighbours) who will play the character of Magda, as well as Madeleine Jones who was nominated for a Helpmann Award in 2015 for her work in Once. She will play Patty. Taking the role of Fay is leading singer and stage performer, Ellen Simpson, who was most recently seen as Renee Geyer on television screens in the blockbuster tele series, Molly.
Akin to writing an entirely new album, the full musical score and lyrics for Ladies in Black is the creation of the highly acclaimed singer and songwriter, Tim Finn. Synonymous with legendary groups Split Enz and Crowded House, Tim was a major contributor to what is the Australian soundtrack of the 1980s and early 1990s. In 2009, he collaborated with playwright Matt Cameron on Poor Boy which premiered at MTC, directed by Simon Phillips (with whom he reunites for Ladies in Black) and he is currently under commission by the Western Australian Opera, Victorian Opera and New Zealand Opera to write Star Navigator, which will tour Australia and New Zealand in 2016. On August 18 he opened The Fiery Maze at Malthouse Theatre, an onstage song cycle he created with poet Dorothy Parker. Tim is one of the key drivers behind Ladies in Black becoming a stage reality.
Screenwriter Carolyn Burns wrote her first book, the comedy-thriller for children, The Retrievers in New Zealand, with her first play Objection Overruled performed throughout that country. Now based in Australia, she has since written four plays, including adapting both Haxby’s Circus and High Society for the stage, and is in demand as a dramaturg and script editor.
Award-winning director Simon Phillips brings serious directorial revenue to the stage, having developed Priscilla – Queen of the Desert from a film script to a hit musical in Melbourne, Sydney, London, Toronto and Broadway. He successfully refashioned Love Never Dies, the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, for The Really Useful Company, and is working on the musical version of An Officer and a Gentlemen for a major international production. He adapted the First Wives Club The Musical for Chicago’s Oriental Theatre in 2015 and in September this year directs the world premiere of Dream Lover – The Bobby Darin Musical starring David Campbell at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. The former Artistic Director of MTC (2000 – 2011) his director credits are both long and prestigious.
The Story: With a dash of delicate comedy, Ladies in Black is a magical modern-day fairytale set in a stylish department store – F.G. Goode – in a city on the cusp of becoming cosmopolitan: Sydney is crossing the threshold between the stuffy repression of the 1950s and the glorious liberation of the 1960s. Donning a distinguished black dress, the bright-eyed, bookish school leaver Lisa is about to join the ranks on the sales floor of the city’s most prestigious department store – temporarily, of course.
Her domineering dad intends to railroad her into a career as a secretary, but Lisa has grander schemes in mind. In that summer of innocence, a world of possibilities opens up as she befriends the unlucky Fay and the frustrated Patty; and the exotic, compelling European refugee, Magda, mysterious mistress of the model gowns, who takes Lisa under her wing. From the Christmas rush to the chaos of the sales, these women stand shoulder to padded shoulder and together learn lessons in life, love and longing – and at the end, it’s not just the fancy frocks that are forever altered.
Ladies in Black – national tour
Cast Includes: Kate Cole, Carita Farrer Spencer, Bobby Fox, Natalie Gamsu, Madeleine Jones, Kathryn McIntyre, Trisha Noble, Ellen Simpson, Greg Stone and Sarah Morrison as Lisa
Website: ladiesinblack.com.au #ladiesinblack2017
Sydney – Sydney Lyric Theatre
3 – 22 January 2017
Phone: 1300 795 267
Ticketmaster.com.au or sydneyfestival.org.au
Brisbane – Playhouse, QPAC
28 January – 19 February 2017
Phone: 136 246 or queenslandtheatre.co.au
Melbourne – Regent Theatre
25 February – 19 March 2017
Phone: 1300 111 011 or ticketmaster.com.au
Canberra – Canberra Theatre Centre
27 March – 2 April 2017
Phone: (02) 6275 2700 or canberratheatrecentre.com.au