Arts & Culture

‘The Sapphires’ come to The Sapphire Coast for a night of music

Lisa Herbert 21 May 2019
The fabulous Sapphires come to Bega to inspire us. Photo supplied

The fabulous Sapphires come to Bega to inspire. Photo: Supplied

The Bega Valley is in for an absolute treat next week when a new production of the fabulous show ‘The Sapphires’ comes to town.

There will be one show only of this multiple award-winning production on the stage of the Bega Valley Commemorative Civic Centre on Thursday, May 30.

Produced by Christine Harris and one of Australia’s premier theatre touring companies, HIT Productions, the acclaimed musical play will tour across the length and the breadth of Australia during 2019 and 2020 reaching over 140 locations, bringing with it a very energetic and upbeat vibe.

Featuring a talented young ensemble of first nations performers, Tony Briggs directs the play and heads a highly praised indigenous directing and design team. Briggs promises, “this will be the most intimate telling of ‘The Sapphires’ story yet”.

Made famous by the movie, The Sapphires is a heart-warming tale inspired by the true story of Laurel Robinson and Lois Peeler, Tony Brigg’s mother and aunt.

Set in 1968 during landmark changes to Aboriginal rights, it tells the story of a singing group of four young Yorta Yorta women, discovered by a talent scout at St Kilda’s Tiki Club, where they entered a singing competition. He convinces them to tour Vietnam to sing classic Motown songs for the troops and it becomes a life-altering trip taking in the depths of war and back again.

Based on real events, The Sapphires explore many themes. Photo supplied

Based on real events, The Sapphires explore many themes. Photo: Supplied

These four young women from regional Australia, suddenly get the chance to change their tune, their clothes and their lives. Wearing uniforms of sequins, and armed only with microphones they find themselves trying to spread joy in the hell that is the Vietnam War.

Whilst The Sapphires explores issues such as race, prejudice, and pleas for acceptance, it is an energetic and engaging play that affirms life and the realisation of dreams.

Anyone who dreams of singing on stage should come along and watch how these women grabbed the opportunity to change their lives forever and realise their dreams.

“I hope the audience will feel a fresh sense of connection to a story that has already successfully infiltrated the psyche of the Australian theatre and movie going public, and get a sense of joy and understanding of who Aboriginal people are, and walk away from The Sapphires with a smile on their faces,” Briggs says.

The Sapphires directed by Wesley Enoch was first performed by the Melbourne Theatre Company in November 2004 and continued at Sydney’s Company B in 2005. It was a smash hit success, taking out the 2005 Helpmann Awards for Best Play and Best New Australian Work.

Revived in 2010, The Sapphires performed for the first time internationally in March 2011 for a two- week London tour. The Sapphires was then released as a feature film in 2012 receiving wide popular and critical acclaim.

The Sapphires bring loads of laughs and inspiration to Bega. Photo supplied

The Sapphires bring loads of laughs and inspiration to Bega. Photo: Supplied

The exceptional creative team coming to Bega is headed by award-winning writer and director Tony Briggs and includes Associate Director Kylie Bracknell (Kaarljilba Kaardin), Musical Director Nathaniel Andrew, Set and LX Designer Mark Howett, and Choreographer Leonard Mickelo.

The young performers appearing as The Sapphires quartet in this production are Lorinda Merrypor as Julie, soul singer Mindy Kwanten as Cynthia, Matilda Brown as Kay and Ngaire Pigram as Gail.

The show commences at 7.30 pm, duration is approximately 2 hrs 20 mins including interval. The Sapphires is suitable for ages 7 plus, with some adult themes, simulated warfare and a small amount of coarse language. 

Bar and food available from 6:30 pm from the Civic Centre Bar, with all kinds of deliciousness from Valley Katering, and the More Than Beans coffee van.

Tickets are available now HERE.

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