Frank Kerr was born and raised a “Tassie boy”. He completed a Bachelor of Performing Arts from the University of Tasmania, and received an Errol Award for Best Male Performer for Bert in Encore Theatre Company’s Mary Poppins, before relocating to Melbourne to join the cast at Dracula’s Cabaret. He has performed in film, television and live music.
His latest role is a one-man show: Rebel a New Musical.
With a book and original songs by Greenroom Award nominated Drew Downing (God Only Knows, Beautiful Things, Ultimate 90s Playlist), Rebel a New Musical is described as “a story of self-discovery, self-acceptance and family – whatever that happens to be.”
As Frank Kerr explains, “The situation is that Rebel is doing a gig and he’s telling his life story as he does his catalogue of songs.”
Rebel a New Musical is set in 1969, but as Rebel shares his story, audiences are taken back into the rock and roll era of the 1950s.
“He’s a rock and roll kind of guy, a musician, born in Brooklyn, who then moved to Texas with his uncle, who happens to be a gay man living in a relationship on a farm. They sort of act as his parental figures. His parents are kind of vacant. Then he goes on this whirl-wind journey moving across the country, becoming a musician, having a few interactions with some famous people … and then learning about what’s important in life in the end.”
Preparing for the role, Frank Kerr hasn’t needed to go much past the script.
“He’s written really well. From the script you get a lot about him so you don’t have to do a lot, research-wise. He’s just a guy who wants to be a musician and wants to get out of his small town life.”
Rehearsals have been a collaborative process between writer, director and performer.
While the musical is set in 1969, Frank Kerr believes Rebel a New Musical is relevant today’s audience.
“It very much translates to today’s world,” said Kerr, comparing the issues of acceptance still faced by the LGBTQ+ community.
“It’s about finding what’s important in life and understanding who you are and embracing your own personality and your own life.”
Frank Kerr feels Rebel will have a broad appeal.
“Anyone in the LGBTQ+ community. I think it’s refreshing for them.”
However, he believes the show will also appeal to a wider audience.
“Anyone who likes music, and anyone who’s out for a good night of theatre and fun stories and a ripper band. It’s a quality bunch of musicians and it’s just a simple show with good stories. It’s very accessible.”
Rebel A New Musical
Book & Original Songs by Drew Downing
STARRING FRANK KERR with BAND
- Director: Clary Riven
- Musical Director: Tyson Legg
- Set & Costume Design: Betty Auhl
- Graphics Design: Nadia Rose Design
- Technical Supervisor: Starlite Productions
- Producer: Drew Downing
Rebel a New Musical is playing at the MC Showroon in Prahran, from the 16th to the 20th of October.
Tickets range from $35 to $39.