Kookaburra Musical Theatre

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Peter Cousens' Kookaburra: The National Musical Theatre Company was an Australian not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to musical theatre. Launched in 2006, with its first production Pippin in 2007, it collapsed in late 2008.


Kookaburra was founded by Australian musical theatre performer Peter Cousens in 2006 and received high-profile support from many luminaries of the Australian stage, the Australian Federal government and a variety of businesses. Throughout its short career it was plagued by troubles, including low box office figures and cancelled productions, and caused international controversy when Stephen Sondheim demanded an apology and threatened to remove rights after major cuts were made to Company when an actor with no understudy could not perform.[1] It collapsed in 2008, and officially folded in March 2009, with thousands of dollars owing to creative staff and $1.6 million in debt. Although Cousens credited the company's downfall to the "global financial crisis", many people involved in the company and in the industry cited severe mismanagement.[2][3]



  1. ^ Barbara McMahon (22 July 2007). "Sondheim angered by cuts to his musical". The Observer. Retrieved 15 February 2013. 
  2. ^ "Lights are down and no one's home at Kookaburra's empty nest - Arts - smh.com.au". www.smh.com.au. Retrieved 2017-02-17. 
  3. ^ "Troubled Kookaburra retreats into silence - Arts - Entertainment - smh.com.au". www.smh.com.au. Retrieved 2017-02-17. 

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