New musical to provoke discussion – and empathy

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AN original Canberra-grown musical is coming to Belconnen Arts Centre this week – but it’s anything but an average Broadway-type show.

Kat Bramston as Caroline
Kat Bramston as Caroline

“The Last Time: A Story of Love, Lust & Desperation” has been written by Lucy Matthews, and will be directed by Matthews and Miriam Slater, who also choreographs.

The producer is  Matthews’ new company, Acoustic Theatre Troupe, in association with experimental group Shadow House Pits, with which Matthews is normally associated.

Shining a spotlight on modern relationships and the search for love in Canberra in an original musical, “The Last Time”, contrary to the sound of its subtitle, is intended to be a fun night out.

“It’s first and foremost a story about Canberrans and the hilarious mistakes they make on their journey to find love, with songs about one night stands, the best sex of your life, the desire for romance, and hangovers from hell,” Matthews says.

Briefly, the show introduces us to Caroline (Kat Bramston) who is drifting in and out of casual affairs, the charming womanizer Christopher (Hayden Crosweller) who wants to win her heart, her best friend Ellie (Frances McNair) who is struggling to find love in the small lesbian dating pool of Canberra and charismatic guitar player Valerie (Katherine Berry), who holds a dark secret.

No spoilers here, but one night out will either make or break the romances to come.

The musical may well provoke discussion. As Matthews says, “I wanted to explore the notion of sexuality, particularly female sexuality, and to challenge body policing and the judgement of sexually active women in society. I also wanted to incorporate LGBTI themes through the same sex relationship between Ellie and Valerie.”

To Matthews, “While we all have a different story to tell, the notion of empathy, rather than difference, is important to the piece.”

“The Last Time: A Story of Love, Lust & Desperation”, at Belconnen Arts Centre, 118 Emu Bank Belconnen, January 28-31 bookings to

Please note, this is a 16+ event due to sexual references, nudity, drug references and coarse language. Profits from the show will be donated to YouthCare, an organisation in the ACT that aids youth homelessness.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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