Musical gets its third director

CAST member and local comedy actor Gordon Nicholson has become the third director in almost as many months of the “Broadway-style” musical, “Winging My Way to the Top”, after distinguished Sydney director Rodney Fisher withdrew at the weekend only weeks into the job.

Gordon Nicholson in his role of Charlie Cheapside in "Winging My Way to the Top".

Gordon Nicholson in his role of Charlie Cheapside in “Winging My Way to the Top”.

Nicholson steps into the director’s role on a show that Fisher, one of Australia’s best-known professional directors, had described ahead of his resignation to “CityNews” as having  “dramaturgical problems” and that he had been rewriting some of the lyrics of the musical that has already attracted $34,452 of public money from ArtsACT.

Fisher’s departure follows that of the initial director, Stephen Pike, who stood down for health reasons. The show, written by Karen Strahan and Jill Walsh, is due to open for a fortnight season at The Q, Queanbeyan, on May 8.

As Fisher told “CityNews” after his resignation: “Unfortunately, with performance dates already announced, Karen and Jill have decided that a postponement would prove expensive (however advisable it may be). They plan instead to proceed with the show in its original state.

“Work on reshaping and strengthening the script had been progressing well but, in the end, sheer lack of time meant that an amicable parting of the ways became inevitable.”

Before director number 2 departed... from left, Karen Strahan, Rodney Fisher and   Jill Walsh.

Before director number 2 departed… from left, Karen Strahan, Rodney Fisher and Jill Walsh.

Fisher’s departure comes in the wake of the withdrawal of one principal cast member and the original director. The show achieved only $4311 of its $30,000 crowd-funding target. The show has a budget of more than $120,000.

Fisher had previously told “CityNews” that while “writing songs for other people to sing” had been the forte of “the girls”, members of the cabaret group The Marvellous Mizdemeanours, their experience of theatre writing and production was negligible and that there were dramaturgical problems in the story of the three Diamond sisters making their way into showbiz that raised questions such as: “Who does this and why?”

He said he had recommended the introduction of a chorus and the excision of at least one main character.

While he was very busy writing a film script, he had agreed to direct the show because he was moved by the enthusiasm of Strahan and Walsh and wanted to help them achieve their dream. He said he now wished them “all good fortune in their endeavours”.

“Winging My Way to the Top”, at The Q, Queanbeyan, May 8-17. Bookings to 6285 6290.



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