YOU do not have to go in to Australian production Georgy Girl – The Seekers Musical knowing the band’s discography to enjoy it.
You just need to like a great story and this show delivers that, along with all the classic songs those who are fans of The Seekers would expect.
Being a child of the 1980s, I missed living through the era where they became the first Australian band to make it big on the international stage; a level that saw them rubbing shoulders with The Beatles and Dusty Springfield.
This biographical musical takes audiences to the swinging 1960s and delves into the highs and lows of the Melbourne folk four piece – Judith Durham, Keith Potger, Bruce Woodley and Athol Guy – who soared to great heights before Durham walked away.
The show also covers the subsequent 25th and 50th anniversary reunion tours.
Wittily narrated by Durham’s late husband Ron Edgewater (Luke Joslin), it is refreshing to experience a musical of this calibre using largely Australian accents and humour.
Perth born performer Pippa Grandison, previously on Crown Theatre Perth stage as Mrs Banks in Mary Poppins, has perfected the Durham singing stance to match a voice that soars effortlessly across every note.
Grandison’s role provides insight into Durham’s insecurities about her appearance and indecisiveness in music genre direction (she sang jazz and was on her way to opera studies before joining The Seekers) while also following her love life and personal tragedy.
Phillip Lowe, Mike McLeish and Glaston Toft, as Keith, Bruce and Athol respectively, are just as suited to their roles in the band known for their healthy, clean cut image; where “other bands trashed hotel rooms, they cleaned theirs up.”
The simple set design allows for seamless scene transitions while a rear screen projection assists with taking audiences from London’s BBC and Abbey Road recording studios to Melbourne’s Sidney Myer Music Bowl where The Seekers played to a crowd of more than 200,000 people.
The performance of song Georgy Girl is an unsurprising favourite moment in the show but the most memorable is I Am Australian, an unforeseen tug at the heartstrings.
The band’s debut record and first number one hit was I’ll Never Find Another You and Australia will never find another band like The Seekers.
Georgy Girl – The Seekers Musical is at Crown Theatre Perth until July 31.