When acclaimed actor and musician Michael Tuahine saw the life and songs of Johnny Cash turned into film, he had an idea. He imagined Australian icon Jimmy Little receiving the Walk the Line treatment — and thanks to playwright Reg Cribb and director Wesley Enoch, his dream has become a reality.
The result is Country Song, a fictionalised story inspired by Little. In 1973, the entertainer is about to take the stage to perform the national anthem in front of a loving audience. As he ponders the task ahead, he is whisked on a fictional road trip through his past.
The show doesn't just tell his tale but explores major social changes; shares accounts of singers Auriel Andrew, Bobby McLeod and Lionel Rose; and pays tribute to both the 1970s era and to the tunes that provided the soundtrack for a generation. It's a celebration of the healing power of music, an ode to a legendary local talent, and the world premiere of a powerful play, all in one.
Rehearsal photo by Stephen Henry.