When Glenn Ferguson first saw WAAPA students present Loving Repeating it had an immediate and lasting impact. It was such a captivating and moving work that Ferguson returned to the theatre each night to watch it again. He admits he developed a bit of an obsession over Gertrude Stein but never imagined producing the musical.
Loving Repeating is a musical about Gertrude Stein, the brilliant American expatriate writer, and her passion for life, language and the thrill of romantic love. Stein was one of the most influential artists of the past century. Ferguson says the musical about her life will inspire audiences to see the world a little differently when they leave.
Love Repeating explores the romantic world of Gertrude Stein and her love affair with language, self-expression, and with her lifelong companion Alice B. Toklas. The musical follows Stein from her student days in the US during the late 19th century to the height of her artistic era in Paris and beyond. While Ferguson expects the musical to appeal to a gay and lesbian audience, he believes it will also appeal to the general musical theatre crowd, describing the story as relevant to everyone.
With music by Stephen Flaherty and additional book by Frank Galati, the lyrics have been taken from the works of Gertrude Stein herself. Ferguson describes the music as being very beautiful and lyrical, saying it will appeal to a wide range of musical theatre lovers.
Leading the cast is Deidre Rubenstein in the role of the older Gertrude Stein, who also serves as the narrator of the story. Joining Rubenstein are: Caitlin Berry, Jennifer Peers, Gillian Cosgriff, Nicole Melloy, Emily Paddon-Brown, Sage Douglas; Suzie Melloy, Vincent Hooper, Tobias Madden, Tim Carney, Oliver Reading, Mitchell Ralston and Alex Given.
Loving Repeating is the first production for new Melbourne-based theatre company Vic Theatre Company (VTC.) Founded by Glenn Ferguson, the aim of VTC is to produce the highest quality theatre using professional actors and providing a more even solution to the profit share model. Actors in VTC's first show Loving Repeating will receive a weekly wage for the rehearsal period, as well as an even split of the profit share pool.
"I consider this a priority over the company taking a cut before the profit is divided. VTC's aims to produce sustainable theatre; theatre that has the potential that if sold out, actors would receive more than the Live Performance Award (LPA) award rate per week and the company would have enough money left over to produce their next show," explains Ferguson.
Graduating from WAAPA in 2010, Ferguson has appeared in Comedy of Errors and Macbeth with The Australian Shakespeare Company, Don Giovanni and Salome for Opera Australia, Oklahoma for Harvest Rain (Will), Pippin for Magnormus and most recently toured with Peppa Pig Live. Ferguson was also one of the Top 30 finalists in the 2013 Rob Guest Endowment.
Ferguson has raised money from small business owners, friends, family and crowd funding. He believes that by truly getting everyone on board with his vision he will be able to continue to produce innovative new and revived theatre whilst contributing to the already thriving independent theatre scene in Melbourne.
Loving Repeating opens at Chapel Off Chapel on January 21st for a limited season as part of the Midsumma Festival.
Presented by Vic Theatre Company, Love Repeating – a musical of Gertrude Stein
At Chapel off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran
From Wednesday 21 January until Sunday 8 February,
Tuesday to Saturday, 8.00pm; Saturday 3pm & 8pm; Sunday 6pm.
Tickets: $49.00 full, $43.00 concession.
Bookings: 03 8290 7000