The Venetian Twins (musical)

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The Venetian Twins
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Poster for 1981 production by Martin Sharp
Music Terence Clarke
Lyrics Nick Enright
Book Nick Enright
Basis I due gemelli veneziani by Carlo Goldoni
Productions Sydney 1979
Sydney 1981
Brisbane 1990
Newcastle 1996
Adelaide 1996
Brisbane 2004

The Venetian Twins is an Australian two-act musical comedy. It was adapted from a commedia dell'arte play - I due gemelli veneziani by Carlo Goldoni - and the lyrics were written by Nick Enright; the music was composed and arranged by Terence Clarke.

Production history[edit]

The Venetian Twins premiered on 26 October 1979 in the Drama Theatre of the Sydney Opera House.[1] The Nimrod Theatre Company production was directed by John Bell for the inaugural season of the Sydney Theatre Company. It starred Drew Forsythe as the twins, coloratura soprano Jennifer McGregor, Tony Sheldon, and Tony Taylor (for all four of whom their roles were specifically written), Jon Ewing as Pancrazio, the villain, and others.[2]

The 1981 Sydney remount by Nimrod Theatre[3] at the York Theatre, Seymour Centre featuring most of the original cast toured to Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne and Geelong.[4][5][6] The cast was reduced to nine from the original ten.

The 1990 Brisbane production by the Royal Queensland Theatre Company, for which the work was substantially revised, also played seasons in Sydney and Melbourne.

Other notable productions include those of the State Theatre Company of South Australia featuring Paul Blackwell (Adelaide 1996 and Melbourne)[7] and Queensland Theatre Company featuring Mitchell Butel (Brisbane 2004).[8] It is frequently produced by schools and amateur theatre groups.

Reception and awards[edit]

The 1991 Melbourne season was nominated for nine Melbourne Green Room Awards for music theatre: Production, Direction (John Bell), Set Design (Stephen Curtis), Costume Design (Stephen Curtis), Male Performer in a Leading Role (Drew Forsythe), Female Performer in a Leading Role (Helen Noonan), Male Performer in a Supporting Role (both Jonathon Biggins and Dennis Olsen) and Female Performer in a Supporting Role (Tara Morice).

For the 1997 Melbourne season, Paul Blackwell was nominated for a Green Room Award for Male Artist in a Leading Role in music theatre.

For the 2004 Brisbane production, Mitchell Butel received the 2005 Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Musical. Also nominated were Bridget Boyle (Best Female Actor in a Musical), Sandro Colarelli (Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical) and Robert Kemp (both Best Scenic Design and Best Costume Design).

Publications[edit]

The script was published by Currency Press, Sydney, in 1996, and the vocal score by Fitzroy Press some time later. The work has been a set text for the NSW Higher School Certificate English and Drama courses. Larrikin Records released a cast recording of the 1981 production. The five-player instrumentation is: flute doubling guitar; clarinet; trombone; percussion, including tubular bells; and piano.

The manuscript of the libretto and lyrics, and related papers, are held by the Australian Defence Force Academy.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ AusStage listing for 1979 original production AusStage. Retrieved on 4 May 2014
  2. ^ "All that glisters is not Goldoni". The Canberra Times. 54, (16,125). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 18 November 1979. p. 11. Retrieved 18 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  3. ^ AusStage listing for 1981 Nimrod Theatre production AusStage. Retrieved on 4 May 2014
  4. ^ "LIFE STYLE". The Canberra Times. 55, (16,764). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 20 August 1981. p. 19. Retrieved 18 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  5. ^ "People". The Australian Women's Weekly. 49, (7). Australia, Australia. 22 July 1981. p. 8. Retrieved 18 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  6. ^ "Get thee to the theatre for this play". The Canberra Times. 55, (16,746). Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 2 August 1981. p. 8. Retrieved 18 March 2016 – via National Library of Australia. 
  7. ^ AusStage listing for 1996 State Theatre Company of South Australia production AusStage. Retrieved on 4 May 2014
  8. ^ AusStage listing for 2004 Queensland Theatre Company production AusStage. Retrieved on 4 May 2014
  9. ^ Enright, Nicholas / Papers (Aus. Defence Force Academy)
  • John Bell: The Time of My Life by John Bell, 2003, Allen & Unwin, p. 138. ISBN 1-74114-134-6