Much-Loved Classic Australian Film 'Starstruck' Is Being Turned Into a Stage Musical

It follows in the footsteps of everything from 'Priscilla, Queen of the Desert' to 'Muriel's Wedding' to 'Moulin Rouge!'
Sarah Ward
Published on September 09, 2018

Another beloved film is heading to the theatre — this time, iconic Australian effort Starstruck. It follows in the footsteps of a growing number of Aussie flicks-turned-musicals; think Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Muriel's Wedding and Moulin Rouge!.

Like its predecessors, it's easy to see why the film is getting the stage musical treatment. In fact, given the movie's storyline, it's a wonder that a large-scale production of hasn't been made before. Directed by Gillian Armstrong and first released in 1982, the comedy-drama tells the tale of Sydney teenager Jackie Mullens, who works in her mum's pub by the harbour but wants to become a rock star — and her cousin Angus, an aspiring manager, plans to get Jackie on a national TV talent series to help her dreams become a reality.

An all-singing, all-dancing affair that'll be filled with 80s pop just like the movie, Starstruck — The Stage Musical will see RGM Productions, the folks behind the Priscilla, Queen of the Desert musical, team up with the National Institute of Dramatic Art. For the show's initial run at Sydney's Parade Theatre in 2019, it'll showcase NIDA's graduating class; however the production will also act as pilot for future commercial seasons. Dates haven't yet been announced, but it's expected to take to the stage towards the end of next year.

As well as Priscilla Queen of The Desert, The Musical producer Garry McQuinn and his partner Rina Gill, the behind-the-scenes talent includes director Simon Phillips (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Ladies in Black, Muriel's Wedding) and choreographer Andrew Hallsworth (Anything Goes, Sweet Charity), with the book by actor, singer, writer and director Mitchell Butel (Two Hands, Gettin' Square, Holding the Man).

"It'll be an exciting adventure to see this warm-hearted little Australian film take shape on the stage," says Phillips. "The story about a couple of self-invented Ozzie kids trying to save their family pub is full of joy and adolescent energy, and NIDA feels like the perfect place to road-test its charms."

Published on September 09, 2018 by Sarah Ward
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