Murray the Musical : Sticking Our Necks Out is a quest about five friends who realize they must do something to save their beloved South Australian river system. The five friends in the story are not unlike the dedicated group of individuals who have brought this entertaining work to its final stage of development.
John Bradford, Ann Scutchings, Julia Currie, Shirley Smith, Freda Mills, Janette Brooks led by artist Silver Moon have been working on the story and songs for a number of years. Contributors to the original musical script include Mary Laslett, Matthew Norton, Don Chapman, Anne Hartnett, Karyn Bradford and many other locals.
Silver said “To tell this story has been a labor of love for the river and the land and the special place it has in our hearts.”
When Silver Moon relocated to Tasmania the group thought the production may never come to fruition but the winds of fate came blowing in the form of funding support by the Uniting Communities, Drought Assistance Package funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.
Funding has enabled the group to contract a professional theatre maker Susie Skinner to direct the show. Although based in Adelaide much of Susie’s work has been in the regions particularly in the Alexandrina Council and along the Murray.
“ I sold my soul to the River Murray four years ago when I made a solo work for Kumawuki – The National Regional Arts Conference held in Goolwa in 2012.’
Susie’s work A Wake was a direct response to the drought that peaked around 2008 when the Murray Mouth closed. Last year Susie continued her work along the Murray as a part of Country Arts major work This is A River funded extensively by The Australia Council.
“I spent a month on a River Wren house boat traveling from Cadell to Caloote with my Jack Russell Banjo. I devised five shows along the River for local communities. The trip was a success although I think Banjo liked the rabbits more than the shows!”
Susie said “I am really excited to direct Murray the Musical as I believe there is a lot of talent in the area and the work is timely”
Milang and District Community Association EO Karyn Bradford said, “The lack of water devastated Lakes and River communities and individuals on financial, personal and emotional levels. In one way or another everyone was affected and its important that the community shares this story now, as we again face the prospect of another dry period and pressure on water use from upstream users.”
Auditions will be held at the Milang Institute Hall, Coxe Street on Sunday April 10th from 10 am. There are roles for community people of all ages and levels of skill, no experience is necessary.