The nation's favourite love to hate, hate to love soap opera first received the theatrical treatment as part of last year's Auckland Arts Festival. Now, the primetime serial is set to be given another lease of life with a full blown musical production coming to ASB Waterfront Theatre from 17 November to 9 December. Shortland Street - The Musical will play as part of Auckland Theatre Company's 2018 season under the direction of one-time Shorty producer Simon Bennett.
The appropriately titled Shortland Street - The Musical is the brainchild of Guy Langford, a writer and composer whose connection to the show runs deep; his father was the first set designer back in 1992.
The live show promises to include all the essential elements of a Shorty episode: killers on the loose, medical calamities, forbidden love and a Christmas curse — there has been no word whether the show will touch on the "penis-gate" cliffhanger.
Langford has carefully slotted songs like Not In Guatemala Now, Cliffhanger and Stuck In A Love Triangle into the plot, as well as iconic characters from the classic era. Langford himself will appear as Dr Chris Warner, while Lisa Chappell will feature as Nurse Carrie Burton and Chris Parker will take on the crucial role of Nick Harrison. Speculation is rife that actual stars from the show will make an appearance — the question remains whether it will be Dr Ropata, Rachel, Rangi, Waverly or even The Ferndale Strangler.
Following the Auckland season, the production will tour to Dunedin, Christchurch, Blenheim, New Plymouth, Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga in March and April 2019.
The original teaser production of Shortland Street - The Musical was presented alongside RAW: Projects in Development, an initiative that features artists' projects in different stages of development. Rather than presenting an overly polished product, RAW gives attendees an opportunity to get an insider's view of the various processes, artistic practices and hard work that go into creating a production.
Image: Shortland Street, South Pacific Pictures.