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Who has performed these shows?

My name is Patrick Carswell and I love writing and performing in musical theatre. This interest in theatre started way back in 1994 when I co-ordinated Chanel College's first Rock Eisteddfod entry. From there I moved to Brisbane where I became involved in amateur theatre.

There was definitely a defining moment that inspired me to start composing shows. I went along with my primary school to watch a co-educational high school performance of "Calamity Jane". At least one part of the show's title rang true. The students weren't interested, the orchestra were dodgy and interval couldn't have come sooner.

I thought that there must be better shows out there for schools who want to include lots of students and would like the convenience of having backing music to work with. What I found was that most primary schools in Australia either -

  • write their own shows (very time consuming and often dodgy)
  • use adult shows like "My Fair Lady" ( Hello! These were written for adult casts)
  • don't do musicals because they're too hard (Wakakirri is much easier)

I started with "I Love the Knightlife" which is still my biggest selling musical. This musical was originally written in 1999 and was reworked in 2001. It has a great combination of Monty Python type sketches, great rock 'n' roll music plus the wonderful adventures of King Arthur and the Knights of Camelot.

Next on the list was "Treasure Island" which is heavily based on the Robert Louis Stevenson classic novel. This was one of the easiest scripts to write as a lot of the language used in that era is colourful and lends itself to double meaning.

For example - Doctor Livesey: (Shouting at pirate ship who are firing on their stockade)
"Blaze away you ninnies! I’ll stake my wig you’ll soon run out of powder … and balls!"

The biggest problem I had with this show was the duration. I hadn't factored in the time it would take to do scene changes so the opening night performance went for over 2 hours. I rectified this by removing some scenes and songs so now the show is a slick 1 hour first act followed by a 1/2 hour second act.

My third installment was "Tarzan". This script is one of my best as the storylines interact nicely and characters all find some sort of resolution at the end. This was my first attempt to write original music for a show. I can't read or write music so I went to a talented friend(Cliff Bradley) who was able to modify some tunes to create some great numbers.

Along the way I became swept up in a project idea that had been simmering for a number of years. As a youngster I'd loved listening to Jeff Wayne's "The War of the Worlds" and thought that this would make a tremendous theatre production. This became a major production which cost me an arm and a leg. We made an original movie including animation using some very talented young actors who volunteered their time for the dream. I then found a great musician who could replicate the wonderful songs along with some others I had researched. The final project was a multimedia film and concert with the movie playing on a big screen with actors/singers/dancers moving on/off stage throughout.

My fourth show was "The Mummy Returns Again". This is a parody of rap music and bad movie sequels. It's Indiana Jones meets the Munsters with lots of gags and rap rip-offs. American Idol also features at the end.

My latest production in development is "Its' Elementary" based on two Sherlock Holmes' cases: "The Hound of the Baskervilles" and "The Other Woman".

I have performed in a number of shows along the way including:

• Queensland Musical Theatre’s 1996 production of Call Me Madam
• Anything Goes at Tivoli Theatre January 1997
• Les Miserables Phoenix Theatre Brisbane 2000
• Toowoomba Philharmonic’s “Wizard of Oz” 2005
• Empire Theatre’s “Sweet Charity” 2006
• Empire Theatre’s “Beauty and the Beast” 2007
BTG "The Secret Garden" 2014

Patrick reaches for the stars as Javert in "Les Miserables"

The best part of these shows was the wonderful casts and great friends made through the experience.

I hope you enjoy performing my musicals.

Patrick Carswell