If there's one thing we know for sure, it's that a great novel is a spectacular foundation for a musical extravaganza. Oliver! Matilda! Les Miserables! Mary Poppins!

Sadly, not every beloved story becomes a famous musical. The path from page to stage is a rocky one, and many grandly ambitious adaptations have fallen by the wayside. Do you remember Casey Bennetto’s funk opus MOCKINGBIRD! and its breakout hit 'My Name Is Boo'? Of course you don’t. But Casey does.

Some of Australia's finest songwriters – including Tim Rogers, Angie Hart, Dean Bryant & Mathew Frank, Simon Hall, Jude Perl, Gillian Cosgriff – have uncovered lost songs from the greatest literary adaptations you've never heard. At Sydney Town Hall, for one night only, you can be witness to their premiere: brought back to life by our wondrous in-house troupe of musical theatre professionals: Casey Bennetto, Virginia Gay, Mike McLeish, Natalie Abbott and our house band. 

Musical Fictions. Tap your toes to some classic prose.

Musical Fictions is supported by Rosie Williams and John Grill AO, as well as John Taberner.

Virginia Gay (Australian )

Virginia Gay

Virginia Gay is an actor, writer, and director, best known for her roles in All SaintsWinners & Losers, and more recently the film Judy & PunchShe won a Sydney Theatre Award for Best Actress for Calamity Jane, and widespread acclaim for her adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac for Melbourne Theatre Company, where she also took on the title role.

Mike McLeish (Australian)

Mike McLeish

Mike McLeish is best known to Australian audiences for his portrayal of Paul Keating in Casey Bennetto's Keating! The Musical. Mike has also appeared in Eddie Perfect's Shane Warne The Musical, Chunky Move's Two Faced Bastard, the Hayes Theatre Company's revival of Nick Enright and Max Lambert's Miracle City, as well as Georgy Girl: The Seekers Musical, Beautiful:The Carole King Musical and David Bowie's Lazarus, as well as performing internationally with renowned musical improvisation troupe Spontaneous Broadway. Off stage, Mike has appeared in television roles (including Offspring, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Utopia and Wentworth) and along with his wife and collaborator, Fiona Harris, has written two novels The Drop-off and The Pick-up.

Natalie Abbott (Australian)

Natalie Abbott

Natalie Abbott appeared in the leading role of Muriel Heslop in Global Creatures’ national tour of Muriel’s Wedding The Musical in 2019, playing to audiences in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Most recently, Natalie has been seen on ABC TV in the leading of role of Diana in Aftertaste, opposite Erik Thomson and Rachel Griffiths. Natalie was nominated for a Helpmann Award for Best Female Actor in a Musical, and a Green Room Award for Lead Role in Musical Theatre for Muriel’s Wedding The Musical.

Casey Bennetto (Australian)

Casey Bennetto

Casey Bennetto is an Australian writer, musician, performer and radio broadcaster. He wrote and composed the musical Keating! which received the 2006 Helpman Award for Best Musical and Best Original Score. He wrote and recorded the scores for ABC comedy series Lowdown, This Is Littleton, The Katering Show and Get Krack!n, as well as making contributions to Agony Aunts and Adam Hills In Gordon St Tonight. Other notable credits include songwriter for SBS’ acclaimed Prison Songs documentary, appearing in Malthouse’s Melbourne production of The Threepenny Opera and pianist and vocalist in Spontaneous Broadway. Casey is also a regular on ABC’s Spicks And Specks as guest, accompanist and performer, and has played originals in studio as part of the ABC’s late lamented Sunday Arts coverage.