Still to come... Around the world, Frank Ifield and more...
In 1986 the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust staged a production of 'LENNON - The Musical of the Legend'. The show, written by Bob Eaton, began as an ensemble piece at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool, England five years earlier. Later it won Best Musical in London's 'West End' and was also staged in New York. In Australia it opened at Sydney's Enmore Theatre, directed by Clare Venables, moving onto the Civic Theatre, Newcastle and finally the QPAC Lyric Theatre, Brisbane. The musical tells the life of John Lennon through his songs and the music of The Beatles. Parts of the piece faithfully recreate portions of history while at other songs are juxtaposed in the chronology because their lyrics illustrate particular events so well.
LEFT: The real Beatles (minus Ringo who was in London having his tonsils removed) wave to fans from the balcony of room 810 at the Sydney Sheraton Hotel on June 11, 1964
BELOW: The 'LENNON' Beatles wave from the same spot during a publicity jaunt. (L to R) Mark Jones, Trevor White, Peter Bishop, Bob Howe.
Trevor is in much demand as a session singer and was often seen backing international stars on Channel 9's 'The Midday Show'. Lance was famous not only as 'Chucky' in the Telstra Mobile-Net ads and for performing the lead in 'Les Miserables', but has achieved international acclaim as 'Elton Jack'. Mark and Greg are performers in the 'Elton Jack Show' along with Jeremy Cook who is also in Mic Conway's National Junk Band. Faye writes musicals for childrens' theatre in Melbourne. Peter performs as a popular solo artist on the Sydney scene. George fronts the exciting Melbourne band 'Zydeco Jump'. Jeremy Stanford (younger John in the Brisbane production) went on to portray Buddy Holly in 'Buddy' and John Lennon in 'Looking Through A Glass Onion', and continues a successful musical theatre, television and film career. Paul Smyth (older John understudy) has released an album of his own compositions.
Musical Director Chris Monks continues his successful career in the UK and as a writer and director "...developed an impressive reputation for original and hugely entertaining re-workings of classic operas".
Director Clare Venables was artistic director of the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and later director of education and new technology for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Sadly, she died in 2003. The Guardian remembers her as "one of British theatre's unsung heroes."
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