Music Theatre


Deni Gordon, Coby Njoroge and Chaska Halliday in ‘Half Time’ at the Hayes Theatre Photographer David Hooley
Nancye Hayes and the cast of ‘Half Time’. Pic David Hooley

It is always exciting to see an Australian premiere of a musical, especially in the intimate chamber space that is Potts Point’s Hayes Theatre.

This is the case with the American work HALF TIME, book by Chad Beguelin and Bob Martin, music by Matthew Sklar with additional music by Marvin Hamlisc, and lyrics by Neil Benjamin. The show was based on the motion picture documentary ‘Gotta Dance’, directed by, written by and produced by Dori Bernstein.

HALF TIME  tells the true story of ten ordinary seniors who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team. Only after making the cut  do they learn that they won’t be dancing tap, salsa, or swing – instead they have to learn a dance style that is entirely foreign to them, hip-hop. Their head coach is Tara, played by Stefanie Jones, who in her late twenties is deemed too old to be part of the main dance team. Continue reading HALF TIME : STAYING FOREVER YOUNG @ THE HAYES


Matthew Becker and Lucie Mastrantone in ‘Young Frankenstein’. Photo Daniel Bou

It’s great to see the Hayes Theatre open again after the long Covid shutdown.

What a great way to start up again with the complete silliness, zaniness, of Mel Brooks.

Not content with making the hit comedy movie ‘Frankenstein’  in 1974 which was listed as the 13th  funniest film ever made by  the American Film Institute,  in 2007 he transformed the movie into a stage musical  which became a Broadway hit.

In YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN  scientist Frederick Frankenstein (it’s pronounced Fronk-en-steen) – grandson of the infamous scientist – travels reluctantly to Transylvania where he has inherited his family estate. Before long, he finds himself back in the mad scientist shoes of his ancestor, and with the help of hunchbacked sidekick Igor and yodelling lab assistant Inga, he brings to life a new creature to rival his grandfather’s. But this time, when the monster escapes – great hilarity ensues.

The show’s director Alexander Berlage in the last  two active year of the theatre, has directed two  hit productions; ‘American Psycho’ and ‘Cry-Baby’. With YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, the Australian premiere of this Mel Brooks show, it looks like now he was won the trifecta with this show already booking well.

Berlage continues his tradition of reworking classic old (comparatively speaking) shows and getting new things out of them.

Matthew Backer gives  a great performance as Dr Frederick Frankenstein. Becker shines in all areas.

Nick Elyard makes for an alarming monster who does however show a sensitive side.

Other performances to catch the eye  include Lucia Mastrantone as the decidedly odd housekeeper  Frau Blucher and Shannon Dooley is outrageously good as Frederick ‘s wife Elizabeth who pledges her love to her husband yet will not let him touch her.

Isabel Hudson’s clever set alludes to modern art, and  Mason Browne’s costumes are stunning.

The show ends on an appropriately emphatic note with the cast gathered across the front of the stage laughing their heads off as the curtain slowly descends on them even peeking through the curtain as it reaches the bottom.

Running time 2 hours and 30 minutes including one interval.

Recommended, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN is playing the Hayes Theatre, 19 Greenknowe Avenue, Potts Point until  Saturday 20 March 2021.

Performance times Mondays at 6.30pm, Tuesdays to Saturdays at 7.30pm, Thursdays at 1pm and also matinees on Saturdays at 2pm.











A co-production with Queensland Theatre and Brisbane Festival in association with the Australian Theatre For Young People, Australian playwright Yve Blake’s FANGIRLS premiered at the Bille Brown Theatre in Brisbane back in September 2019 and then transferred the following month to our own Belvoir Street Theatre.

The show was a big hit for Belvoir Street and the Company has brought it back for a return season with it this time playing at the Seymour Centre. It is again bringing in good audiences. Continue reading FANGIRLS : SO YOUNG, SO YOUNG, SO GOD DAMN YOUNG


The Hayes Theatre Company is set to reopen next month with a performance of Young Frankenstein. Their Sydney Festival romp, Rewired : Musicals Reimagined was a  showcase for the regular creatives and versatile vocal and acting talent connected with the Hayes. 

Its fresh take on established musical  theatre favourites sets our regular theatre-going sensibilities on fire. The amazing moments of musical transformation via huge makeovers are stunning new strains for us to cherish. 

This slick super medley of an event  features six voices, four band members and three musical directors who are frequently featured at the Hayes Theatre.  Continue reading SYDNEY FESTIVAL : REWIRED : MUSICALS REIMAGINED @ THE HAYES


Gabrielle McClinton and cast PIPPIN (c) David Hooley

A revival of the 1974 Broadway hit musical ‘Pippin’ is the show lighting up the Lyric Theatre at the Star for the first time since the Covid 19 virus hit back in March this year.

In the show we follow the title character’s journey. When we first meet Pippin he is fresh out of university and  is intent on making his way in the world and finding meaning and satisfaction. He tries different things which satisfy him for a little while and then he moves on, ever restless.

Where will he end up?! Who knows? The Leading Player thinks he does. He is the other lead character in the show, and in his head he has Pippin’s life all mapped out. Together with his performance troupe they interact with Pippin and play out scenes from his life. The Leading Player believes he is in control of everything, that is until Katherine comes along… Continue reading PIPPIN LIGHTS UP THE STAGE AT THE LYRIC


Anne-Maree McDonald and Philip Quast to perform at the Seymour centre

A highlight of Sydney Festival 2021 is sure to Philip Quast’s show ‘Is This All Then?’. One of our finest  ever music theatre performers Quast will take audiences on a captivating journey through the songs and stories of his incredible life. 

From his parents’ dusty turkey farm in Tamworth to the dressing rooms of glittering theatres worldwide, the multi-award-winning star of musicals, plays and film returns to the Seymour Centre where he first trod the boards in his professional Sydney debut Candide.  Continue reading PHILIP QUAST : IS THIS ALL THEN? @ THE SEYMOUR CENTRE