Is supporting Myrrhee Hall Committee to bring Voyage an Australian musical to the region
“This production is a finely tuned and beautifully executed piece of theatre” – Patricia Di Risio, Stage Whispers
The Good Girl Song Project presents, “Voyage”, a New Australian Folk Musical.
It is April, 1833 and a ship full of single and free immigrant women leaves from Britain, bound for New South Wales, Australia. Two women aboard the ship, an Irish frame knitter and an English servant must survive the voyage with only a single box of necessities below deck. Once they arrive on Australian soil, their strong voyage-bound friendship must withstand the capricious whims of the Sydney colonists. For once they have left the familiar shores of their home, there is no going back.
“Voyage” was nominated for three Green Room Awards, listed as one of TimeOut’s “Top 5 Must-See Musicals”, and featured on the 2021 VCE Drama Playlist. The work is written by Helen Begley, directed by Ruby Rees and based on the research of Dr Liz Rushen. It features two actors, three musicians, eleven characters and seventeen songs.
Voyage is a hybrid form of scripted narrative song cycle with action, an ingenious but simple set and stunning character transformations by the two actors/singers. It is not traditional musical theatre. It blurs the lines between theatre, opera and song cycle.
The show offers an alternative story of “Mateship.” Without sentimentality, it champions the kind of staunch female friendship that fosters resilience and endurance and maintains hope and humour in the face of hostility. Through this lens it asks audiences to reflect on their attitudes to women, migration, identity, colonisation and racism, and questions whether the attitudes of the 19th Century are still mirrored in contemporary Australia.
The Good Girl Song Project(GGSP) is a floating collective of musical women from the Australian folk scene. The line up for “Voyage” in Myrhee is Carly Wilding (Actor/Singer/Musician), Penelope Swales (Actor/Singer/Musician), Kylie Morrigan (Fiddle), Meredith Beardmore (Whistle) and Helen Begley( Guitars/Writer). GGSP’s mission is to create musical stories that explore the lives and experiences of Australian women.
In the midst of the pandemic, Voyage had a two week season at Melbourne Independent theatre 45 downstairs. It attracted rave reviews and glowing testimonials from audience members including many VCE students. The show visited several schools before lockdowns halted further performances. Post-pandemic, the GGSP team is looking forward to remounting the production and sharing “Voyage” with audiences near and far.