The moment has finally arrived, New Zealand. Our favourite TV drama will have its musical theatre debut this November with an all-singing, all-dancing cast featuring Lisa Chappell, Mark Hadlow and Chris Parker.
Directed by long-time Shortland Street producer and stage director Simon Bennett, the ASB season of Shortland Street – The Musical is an affectionate parody of the TV soap genre. It opens at the ASB Waterfront Theatre on 17 November as part of Auckland Theatre Company’s 2018/19 season.
Fans of the TV show will recognise the iconic characters and classic stories from the earliest years of the popular New Zealand drama, which are specifically drawn from 1992 to 1995.
Remember how yuppie playboy Dr Chris Warner had his feathers ruffled when humanitarian Dr Hone Ropata arrived in town, fresh from Guatemala? And when bratty teenager Rachel McKenna got struck by lightning and fell in love with her gormless bestie, Nick?
In this musical theatre adaptation, Chris and Hone have to ignore their mutual loathing when they find themselve defending a murder case and rescuing the clinic from Chris’ capitalist father Sir Bruce Warner, who wants to turn Shortland Street into a medical resort for the rich and famous.
At the Nurse’s Station, Alison Raynor dreams of true love, Robo-Nurse Carrie Burton wants a baby and Jaki Manu gives breaking the glass ceiling a crack.
Adding a hit of adrenaline to the show are the hilarious songs written by Guy Langford, including Stuck in a Love Triangle, Cliffhanger, The Five Wives of Doctor Warnerand, of course, Not in Guatemala Now.
Langford, who conceived and composed the musical, collaborated with Simon Bennett (Outrageous Fortune, The Almighty Johnsons, Assassins, Into the Woods) over a number of years to create this show. An initial version first saw the light of day at a small development showing as part of Auckland Arts Festival 2017, before being picked up by Auckland Theatre Company.
With his boy-next-door good looks, the multi-talented Guy Langford (Amadeus, Altar Boyz, King Lear, The Hound of the Baskervilles) will take up the pivotal role of Dr Chris Warner.
Also leading the cast are Mark Hadlow (The Hobbit, MAMIL, Nell Gwynn, Last Legs), who will play both Sir Bruce Warner and Dr Michael McKenna, and Lisa Chappell (McLeod’s Daughters, Fallen Angels, Peer Gynt [recycled], Menopause The Musical) playing Nurse Carrie Burton.
Brilliant, award-winning comedy actor Chris Parker (Hudson and Halls Live, Funny Girls, 7 Days) will play the dorky Nick Harrison.Rachel McKenna, the role made famous by Angela Bloomfield,will be played by Comfrey Sanders (Don Juan, Jekyll & Hyde, Lord of the Flies). Katherine McRae will take up the role made famous by her mother, Elizabeth McRae - Marj Neilson.
Shortland Street – The Musical comes to the stage with the blessing of both the TV show’s creators and broadcaster, South Pacific Pictures and TVNZ. The Auckland season is proudly presented by ASB.
FERNDALE: UP IN LIGHTS
Shortland Street – The Musical has its world premiere in November
Examples of coverage achieved to date:
TVNZ One News
TVNZ Breakfast - Thursday 27 September
TV3 The Project - Friday 26 October
Unleashed with Anika Moa
NZ Herald Weekend
Herald on Sunday Spy - General
Herald on Sunday Spy - announcement of Hone Ropata
Next Magazine - Snapchat with Chris Parker
North and South - piece by former Shortland Street star, Elisabeth Easther
NZ Women’s Weekly
NZ Herald Entertainment
Radio NZ Afternoons
Radio NZ Saturday Morning
and many more.