State of Origin musical ready to hit the stage

A State of Origin musical seven years in the making will hit the stage later this month - and the brains trust behind it, Hugh Lunn, is very excited. 

"We want to showcase the greatness of Queensland," Lunn said. 

The play, written by Lunn and Gerry Connolly, has long had financial backing and was supposed to hit the stage in 2017 but it did not eventuate.

Now that the internationally-recognised Connolly - a pianist, comic actor and composer - is on board, Lunn said the show was simply superb. 

There will be three State of Origin: The Musical! performances at the Princess Theatre in Woolloongabba - one on November 29 and two on November 30 - to showcase 90 minutes of its greatness before the full production next year celebrates the 40th anniversary of State of Origin. 

"I wanted to do something for the people of Queensland — and the only thing I could think of that unites the whole state — from the smallest cattle yard to the tallest skyscraper — is State of Origin," 78-year-old Lunn told The Courier-Mail

"State of Origin connects everyone."

Singer Henry Kafoa, Hugh Lunn, Wally Lewis and Gerry Connolly during a rehearsal.
Singer Henry Kafoa, Hugh Lunn, Wally Lewis and Gerry Connolly during a rehearsal.

The play follows main character Ron McAuliffe, who was twice adopted as a child.

"Ron becomes president of the Queensland Rugby League and tries to overcome 21 straight years of defeat. As losses mount, he frustrates his wife Lilian, friends and supporters, the players and the public," Lunn said. 

"Finally, Ron reaches into himself, then reaches out to the Queenslanders playing in Sydney, and together they learn where you belong is where your heart finds a home."

In 1980, those Queenslanders donned maroon — and the rest is history.

"I wrote it because it's such a great story," Lunn said.

 

Listen to why the State Of Origin meant so much to Hugh Lunn that he wrote a musical about it! Tickest here...

Posted by Stateoforiginthemusical on Monday, 18 November 2019

A cast of 16 actors and seven musicians, consisting mainly of Musical Theatre graduates from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, will bring the story to life.

QRL manager of government relations Arthur Eustace-Earle said it was a fun way for audiences to experience the history of the great game. 

"State of Origin has become a huge event that brings the state together and forms part of what makes Queensland special"

Arthur Eustace-EarleQRL manager of government relations

"It is an event that allows Queenslanders - some who live in the harshest environments, such as out west - to have some brief respite from the issues they face and enjoy themselves, cheering for Queensland. That's rugby league, that's State of Origin," Eustace-Earle said. 

"I'm looking forward to seeing the play and I hope the rest of the state get the opportunity to see it at some point as well. 

"I commend Hugh, Gerry and all of those involved for their passion and commitment to bringing this story to life."

Hugh Lunn during rehearsals.
Hugh Lunn during rehearsals.