Tim Finn has carved out an extensive music career around the world, most notably with the bands Split Enz and Crowded House, as well as a successful solo career, but his latest success has been in the musical theatre genre as the composer for the Helpmann Award winning, Ladies In Black.
Finn said he has wanted to do a musical since the 1980’s.
“The idea of doing theatre was always there in the background,” Finn said.
Tim Finn was first introduced to musical theatre as a child and he still remembers his reaction.
“I remember when Mum took us to see My Fair Lady, I was only about 8, and I remember jumping to my feet when they were singing ‘Get Me To The Church On Time’. Physically, I had to get out of my seat and that has stayed with me – the joy of that and the fun of that,” explained Finn.
The joy and fun of the live theatre experience is something Finn has applied to Ladies In Black.
“One of the great things for me was writing a song called ‘The Bastard Song’. People are saying, ‘I’ve got to have that for my ring tone!’ The first time that song came on, there were chuckles and then it rippled and then people were laughing out loud and joining in a bit and thought, ‘I want to do that again!’ I’ve never written a song that made people laugh!” commented Finn.
The inspiration for this musical came when Tim Finn picked up a copy of Madeline St John’s novel, The Women In Black, at the Brisbane airport. He loved the book, loved the characters and knew it would make a great musical.
The story is set in Sydney in the late 1950’s, as young school leaver, Lisa, commences work at the city’s most prestigious department store: FG Goodes.
“There’s a lot of tenderness and humanism, but there’s a lot of fun as well; a lot of very intelligent humour,” commented Finn.
Despite his incredible success in the music industry, Tim Finn regards himself as an apprentice in musical theatre writing.
“I’m an apprentice, which is a really great place to be. A sense of naivety. The zen bosom. The beginners mind. I bring all that to music theatre. I bring all my music knowledge, chords and tunes and all the rest of it, and inspiration of that, but also a certain kind of unknowingness, which I think works for me. But it’s a craft. I have learnt a lot from (Director) Simon Phillips and (Writer) Carolyn Burns about crafting lyrics,” said Finn.
Finn is also quick to credit Musical Director Guy Simpson for his contribution to the score.
With Ladies In Black winning the 2016 Helpmann Award for Best New Australian Work, Tim Finn has started his musical theatre career on a high note. The good news is, he has more musicals planned.
“I’ve got two or three things currently in development – one with Simon and Carolyn. I definitely want to do it again and again!”
Ladies In Black is now playing at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne’s East End Theatre District for three weeks only.
For more information and tickets: http://www.marrinergroup.com.au/shows-tickets-details.php?id_show=5573