Red Tree Theatre, Tuggerah
Presented by Red Tree Theatre
The musical Australia had to have
Winner of the Helpmann Award for Best Original Score. Packed with laughs and great tunes. This musical sold out on two national tours of Australia.
Keating! is a sung-through musical which portrays the political career of former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating. Keating was Prime Minister between 1991 and 1996; the musical follows him from his ascent to the leadership through to his eventual electoral defeat by John Howard. It was written by Casey Bennetto, who was inspired to write the show by his disappointment at the results of the 2004 federal election, which saw Howard's Coalition government returned for a fourth term. The musical takes a humorous, satirical tone and presents a positive image of Keating while frequently criticising the Howard government. Bennetto describes the show as "ridiculously pro-Paul Keating".
Originally performed by musical group the Drowsy Drivers, the show achieved rapid success from its low-budget premiere at the 2005 Melbourne International Comedy Festival where it enjoyed a sold-out run and won an unprecedented three festival awards. In 2006, Neil Armfield directed an extended Company B production of Keating!, now with two acts and six new songs written by Bennetto. The Company B production toured Australia, receiving favourable reviews and winning Helpmann Awards for Best Musical and Best Regional Touring Production. In 2008 a live recording of the show was broadcast nationally on ABC2; it was released on DVD in November 2008, through Madman Entertainment.
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