With twenty of Dylan’s songs including Hurricane, I Want You, Slow Train Coming, Lay Lady Lay and Like A Rolling Stone, beautifully reimagined and woven through the story, Girl From The North Country is a modern masterpiece, and fittingly Brisbane Festival's first announcement of a large-scale theatre production for 2022.
Louise Bezzina, Artistic Director, Brisbane Festival said, “Following the outstanding success of Boy Swallows Universe in 2021, I was keen to present another large-scale theatre work for Brisbane Festival 2022. I am thrilled to be partnering with QPAC, GWB Entertainment and Damien Hewitt to present this internationally acclaimed production this year. At times achingly beautiful and at others starkly haunting, I know our Festival audiences will embrace this award-winning production.”
QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas echoed the joy of collaborating to present what was hailed by critics as a musical theatre classic in the making almost from its premiere performance. “We know audiences have come to expect a world-class program from Brisbane Festival and this production sits amongst the very best,” Mr Kotzas said. “It brings a brilliant cast of stars together with a very real and human story of community and connection, knitted together with Dylan’s poetic musical genius. This season will be a sure-fire hit with Brisbane audiences.”
A story of American life in 1934, it centres on a community living on a knife-edge in the local guesthouse, and stars multi Gold Logie winner, Lisa McCune (The King And I, South Pacific), Terence Crawford (Escape from Pretoria, 1984), Helen Dallimore (Wicked [London], Legally Blonde) Helpmann Award winners, Peter Carroll, Greg Stone and Christina O’Neill, dual AFI winner Peter Kowitz, Elijah Williams (Triple X, Black Jesus), Grant Piro (host of ABC TV’s Couch Potato, Hello, Dolly!), Blake Erickson (The Dismissal, Shrek, Mamma Mia!), Elizabeth Hay (Emil and the Detectives, Hibernation) and James Smith (Jasper Jones, Euphoria) and Chemon Theys (Faust, Deadly Women). Samantha Morley, Tony Black, Liam Wigney, Tony Cogin and Laurence Coy feature in the impressive ensemble, with a band featuring Mark Harris and Cameron Henderson performing live on stage under Musical Director Andrew Ross.
In an interview with the New York Times, Bob Dylan confirmed that he has seen the new musical Girl from the North Country.
“I saw it as an anonymous spectator, not as someone who had anything to do with it,” Dylan told the Times. “I just let it happen. The play had me crying at the end. I can’t even say why. When the curtain came down, I was stunned. I really was.”
Irish writer and director Conor McPherson said, “It is an honour to tour this production I'm so proud of around Australia. Our journey from the West End in London and onto Broadway has been monumental, and we have managed to find an incredible Australian cast who bring this magical production to life night.”