Spring has come early for two local stars, who are starring in this week’s WW1 musical 3 Weeks in Spring.
WW1 musical 3 Weeks in Spring starts its five-day run at Sydney’s iconic State Theatre this week from Tuesday night (August 13 – 17) and two of the 35-strong cast treading the boards are Newtown actresses Clare McCallum and Erin Bogart.
The inspiring musical created by Ian Gerrard powerfully tells the story of the most iconic Australian story, the birth of the ANZAC legend, and recounts it with all its heroism and humour for a modern audience of all generations.
Narrated by journalist and historian C.E.W. Bean, 3 Weeks in Spring is centred on the story of Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick, better known as ‘Simpson and his donkey’, from the time he arrived in Turkey to the time he died. Simpson became famous as a stretcher-bearer, as he braved “the hottest shrapnel” and used a donkey to transport wounded men from Shrapnel Gully to Anzac Cove. The role of one of Australia’s most famous nurses, Matron Grace Wilson – whose courage, compassion and determination in both World Wars made the Queenslander one of Australia’s greatest war heroines – is particularly poignant for Clare, 31, who plays her.
The daughter of naval officer and war veteran Howard McCallum, she says of herself and her three siblings – all brothers, “Dad has always instilled a sense of duty in me and our family. Although none of us have joined the defence force, we all have a strong sense of social justice, encompassing thoughtfulness, thinking of others and what we have to give back to the community.”
The musical is Clare’s, who went to Newtown High School of the Performing Arts (class of 2005), fourth new Australian work in a row and she auditioned with flatmate Erin, 30, last year for the role.
A graduate of the Theatre Institute of Music, Erin plays an ensemble role, recruiter girl and the wife of the main character. A fan of Australian theatre, she says it’s a dream come true to perform at the State Theatre.
“We’re all excited,” she says. “Working with such a fantastic cast is one of my favourite part about the show. There’s a great morale built through joint humour and having the experience of working together at the State Theatre is brilliant.”
3 Weeks in Spring is directed by Linda Aubrecht (Disney on Ice, We Will Rock You) and with music by Russell Tredinnick, the score sets toes tapping and spirits soaring. The soundtrack album, was released on ANZAC Day, received glowing reviews, and more are expected for this wonderful production.
3 Weeks in Spring will be performed at Sydney’s iconic State Theatre 13 – 17 August 2019, with a view to tour nationally. Tickets start from $74.90 and the album is $25. For more information, visit www.3weeksinspring.com. Ten per cent of every ticket and album sold will be donated to the Australian War Memorial’s Anzac Foundation.
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