A world premiere in Melbourne this December at Her Majesty’s Theatre will be a real Christmas treat Georgy Girl – The Seekers Musical, the story of legendary music group The Seekers, the first Australian band to achieve international success. Directed by Gary Young with musical direction by Stephen Amos, the new musical will be produced by Richard East, an originating producer of Mamma Mia! and Dennis Smith, producer of Dusty – The Original Pop Diva.
They are thrilled to be bring this brand new production to Melbourne. “There is no other city in the world we could have opened this in,” said Richard East. “Melbourne is the home of The Seekers… where it all began for Judith, Keith, Athol and Bruce in 1962 before they captured hearts and conquered the charts of the rest of the world.”
Written by Patrick Edgeworth, Georgy Girl – The Seekers Musical is all about the band whose modest beginnings from working live in a café in South Yarra took them to concerts around the world.
The producers are promising a journey full of laughter, a few tears, but most of all, featuring the magnificent songs we all know and love.
Hey their Georgy Girl…became the ‘catch cry’ anthem of women all around the world when it was the theme song for the movie of the same known.
Written by Tom Springfield and with lyrics by Jim Dale, released in 1966 it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Genre wise it was outside the boundaries of folk, pop and rock, seemingly embracing all three. In 2002 it was listed as number 36 on Rolling Stone’s Magazine “500 Greatest Pop Songs of All Time”.
The key to the song’s success were The Seekers an Australian group, which had come together in 1962 and had numerous Top Ten hits during the 1960’s, ensuring they were much in demand.
Named joint Australian’s of the Year in 1968, The Seekers are the only music group every honoured that way.
They were also individually honoured in the Queen’s Birthday Honours as ‘Officers of the Order of Australia’ in 2014 for having been great ambassadors for both our country and popular music in particular for over a half a century.
The three guys in the group Bruce Woodley, Athol Guy and Keith Potger all went to Melbourne Boys High School together.
They all loved music passionately, sharing their enthusiasm and thoughts for the future. Woodley playing guitar, banjo and mandolin as well as being a vocalist and song writer, while Athol Guy played double bass and sang and Keith Potger, played 12 string guitar, mandolin, banjo and sang.
In 1962 the trio who had formed a folk group The Escorts, which had a lead singer who left the group to get married. Judith Durham took his place and her added dynamic changed their lives forever.
Judith Durham met Athol Guy an account executive at the advertising agency where she was working and the rest became history when they changed the name of the group to The Seekers and started their huge rise to extraordinary success.
At that point Judith Durham had been singing for some years, playing piano and performed blues, gospel and jazz at the Memphis Jazz Club in Malvern, Melbourne. So their sound once she came into the mix was truly unique.
Potger was also an ABC radio producer, which came in handy when they wanted to make a demo tape to expand their work opportunities.
1964 was the year they really took off when they released their now arguably most famous piece of music ‘Ill Never Find Another You’.
This popular piece became a love anthem for many a young couple with romantic notions being the order of the day. I remember it well because my fiancée and I at the time were among those smitten by their sound.
When it reached No 1 on the box office in the UK and Australia they knew they had ‘arrived’ Then Jim Dale’s Georgy Girl would take that success much further by becoming Number 2 on the Billboard Char and Number One on the Cashbox Chart in the USA.
“We are absolutely delighted that the story and the music of the Seekers is being brought to the stage as a musical. The idea of a musical based on the story of our group was first raised over four years ago by someone very familiar to us – Patrick Edgeworth, the talented scriptwriter is Judith’s brother in-law, and knows our story well. He consulted with Graham Simpson, who has been part of our team for many years, and wrote Judith’s life story in his best-selling book ‘The Judith Durham Story – Colours of My Life’.
“In August 2014, Richard East and Dennis Smith asked us to be part of an invited industry audience at a workshop presentation of the musical. The response from the audience was amazing – a standing ovation. It was everything we could have wanted and more.
“We hope you will share and continue to enjoy our journey, as our story comes to life as a brand new Australian musical.”
– Judith Durham, Athol Guy, Keith Potger & Bruce Woodley, The Seekers
Casting for the show will take place in July and the hunt is already on for the girl chosen to project Durham’s unique sound.
The timing is right, the audience assured, grandparent can take their grandchildren, sons and daughters can take their mothers and fathers.
Tickets to the show will be the ideal present for Xmas or indeed, for any day of the year.
Georgy Girl – The Seekers Musical is all about the gift of life and a life well lived, something we all aspire to do.
The Seekers – There Never Will Be Another You.
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2015
GEORGY GIRL – The Seekers Musical
Performance dates: From 22nd December 2015
Presented By: Georgy Girl Productions
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne