Written in 1984 by ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and world-renowned lyricist, Sir Tim Rice, Chess tells a story of love and political intrigue, set against the background of the Cold War in the late 1970s/early 1980s.

The team from The Very Popular Theatre Company, who brought 2019’s smash hit Mamma Mia to Newcastle’s Civic Theatre, is returning in March with a truly epic version of this beloved production.

CHESS The Musical will star musical theatre powerhouses Silvie Paladino and David Harris. It will be Harris’ first major production in Newcastle and he’s looking forward to returning from Broadway to his hometown.

They will be supported by a principal cast of five leading lights of local performance in Marty Worrall, Marissa Saroca, Christopher Allan, Matt Edwards and Amy Vee.  The show will be directed by Edwards’s wife, Erin James, who has starred in and directed performances on the national stage. James also directs a support cast of 16 in this monumental production.

She is once again collaborating with musical director extraordinaire, Dan Wilson, who will be leading a 32-piece orchestra and 200-voice choir, assisted by choir leader Kim Sutherland OAM. All up, almost 280 performers will be onstage for a presentation unlike any the Civic Theatre has seen.

Dan Wilson said it was a phenomenal opportunity for the local performers to watch Silvie and David in action and learn from these highly experienced professional performers.

“Erin and I are pinching ourselves that we get to work with these uber-talented professionals and present a show of this scale at the Civic Theatre,” said Dan.

“The Chess soundtrack is phenomenal and includes the international hit singles ‘I Know Him So Well’ and ‘One Night In Bangkok’ and other well-known songs such as ‘Anthem’, ‘Someone Else’s Story’, ‘Heaven Help my Heart’ and ‘Pity The Child’. The cast is made up of absolute powerhouse voices who are bringing these huge numbers to life, supported by the largest choir ever assembled for a musical theatre production in Newcastle. We guarantee it will be a show to be remember,” added Dan.

THE STORY OF CHESS: As the Cold War continues to be waged, superpowers attempt to manipulate an international chess championship for political ends. Two of the world’s greatest chess masters, one American (Worrall), one Russian (Harris), are in danger of becoming pawns of their governments, as their battle for the world title gets under way. Simultaneously, their lives are thrown into further confusion by a Hungarian refugee (Paladino) – a remarkable woman who becomes the centre of their emotional triangle, mirroring the heightened passions of the political struggles which threaten to destroy lives and loves.


CHESS The Musical

Civic Theatre Newcastle
Friday 27 March at 8pm
Saturday 28 March at 2pm and 8pm
A Reserve: $79, B Reserve: $69
Bookings through Civic Ticketek, phone 4929 1977 or visit www.civictheatrenewcastle.com.au