See Cath & Jay’s other work at: mundyturner.com
Created by Waterford-based singer-songwriter Jay Turner, the musical has been a 30-year labour of love. “I wrote the story back in 1987, based on people I knew when I was growing up.” Jay Turner says. “I thought it was a book, but then realized it was more likely a stage or screen-play. Since I was a musician, turning it into a musical seemed the logical step.”
Turner set about writing songs to accompany a first-draft of the script by British playwright Peter Cann. A local youth theatre in Hereford, England, staged the show in its raw form, without a live band or chorus. The following year, the group performed another season by popular demand.
“Audience response was amazing. People just loved the songs and related to the story,” recounts Turner. However sending it off to publishers brought little joy. The musician shelved the project and focused on his burgeoning career as an performing & recording artist on the international folk-acoustic circuit.
Fast-forward to 2010 and Turner, now living in South-East Queensland, had another crack at sending the script and soundtrack off to publishers. Bingo – UK publisher Stagescripts was keen to sign up BILLY BUCKETT. But there was much work to be done. With the assistance of Jay’s drama-trained partner Cath Mundy and script-editor Katrina Graham, the script was completely taken apart and re-built.
Turner and partner Mundy executively-directed & musically-directed the debut community-theatre season with award-winning Director & Dramaturg Roslyn Johnson, choreographer Hannah Crowther and a hard-working creative/production team.
The show played a sold-out nine-show season at the Crete Street Theatre, Beenleigh, April-May 2013, breaking several records for the Beenleigh Theatre Group, including getting standing ovations at 7 out of 10 shows (including the Preview) and extra seating needing to be brought in for several shows due to demand – no mean feat for this, as yet, unknown show.
“We were blessed with a brilliant creative team and a top-notch cast and band. For us, seeing the show come to full realisation after years of hard work, was a dream come true. We now wish our creation well as the butterfly emerges from its long period of gestation and flies off into the world.”
Watch out for the next stage in the life of BB as Cath & Jay team up with Footlights Theatrical Inc to bring stage the first professional production at SunPAC in May 2018.