When speaking to the writer and producer of new Australian theatrical work, The Essence of Passion, one thing is very clear: not only is the title an apt representation of the thematic material represented in the musical, but it also perfectly describes the pride with which those involved in the production talk about their labour of love.
Having opened on the 22nd of August and now being half way through their run, Theatre People spoke to Bernadette Mirabelli (the writer, song writer and lyricist of the piece) about how the audience has responded to the themes they see playing out on stage. “It’s been fantastic! Audiences have loved it, there have been people both crying and laughing and telling me that they have felt uplifted. I really wanted to create a musical that I would want to see, and I’m happy that audiences have responded to the show.”
The producer of the show, Emilio Mirabelli, was quick to praise the hard work of the cast and creative team, and has also been ecstatic at the amount of support there has been for the show. “Ticket sales have gone brilliantly so far, and I have had members of the audience approach me to tell me they plan to come and see the show again.”
Written during a dark period in Ms. Mirabelli’s life, she told Theatre People that she had written more from imagination and emotion and had managed to steer clear of basing anything on previous personal experiences, save for the main conceit of the show. “I wondered to myself: why is it that some people can cope with their depression and others can’t? It was then that I imagined in particular cases, there might be some ethereal being in existence that lends a hand to people suffering from the illness. I created characters around that idea, and the show has come from there.”
Mr. Mirabelli told Theatre People that because this mounting of The Essence of Passion is a first workshop, he has plans to hold further performances of the material, and hopes to take the show as far as it can possibly go. “This may sound a little ridiculous, but I would love for this show to go to New York, maybe even to Broadway.”
Theatre People asked about the technical details of the show, and was told that at this time, the talented cast of four are accompanied only by piano, but due “to a wonderful sound design by LSS Productions, the sound is balanced and fills the house completely.” Mr. Mirabelli also made special mention of the work of the set designer, and spoke about the amazing lighting plot by Moving Light Productions that brings the show to life.
Ms. Mirabelli also made sure to talk about the wonderful actors and director bringing her show to life. “I had an idea of what the characters would look and sound like, and the team involved in bringing together all different aspects of the show work fabulously. Everyone has really managed to represent what I expected, and I am incredibly happy with the way things have worked out for the first run of The Essence of Passion.
“Our show is not about preaching. It is a look at how people move forward in their lives, and about allowing ourselves the chance to let passion in. It’s about three people who are stuck, who find the courage to move again, and I hope people leave the show feeling empowered in one way or another.”
The Essence of Passion runs until the 30th of August, and tickets can be bought by following this link.