Page 1

e t o n s ' r Write

Nine years ago I was asked to write a musical. The idea had honestly never occurred to me before a phone call from Megan Shorey and ‘Joymas Creative,’ who supported me to create a one night concert performance for a show called ‘BECOMING BILL.’ It featured four actors, and myself at the piano telling my ‘coming of age’ story. I played the music, I narrated and performed the title role. It was clear the story was based on me in some ways - its subject matter was different to what you are seeing onstage tonight but the inspiration for both remain the same. “Why are the simplest questions to ask, often the toughest to answer? Why are the simplest questions to ask, the ones we often avoid? How much does our past determine our future?” In 2010, I wrote a collection of songs with no experience (or idea) of how to write a musical. I had acted in other, American shows. I had loved them. I had wanted to spend my life in musical theatre, but not as a writer. Today, nine years later. Writing for the theatre is one of my greatest passions and joys. And the show you are about to see looks back at my personal journey of becoming a writer - and doing so by writing a story about my life at the time. But this brings us to another inevitable question… “How do we honestly write about ourselves? Honestly… Where do we even begin….” This isn’t a musical about finding ‘the truth’ but more, coming to a point of being able to try to ‘tell it.’ Whatever it might be. No one is wrong or right. No one is better or worse. I’ve come to believe that being honest and vulnerable is something that takes great courage. And I don’t always have the resolve to display it. But I remember a time in my life where I first began to look back in the hope of finding greater clarity when stepping forward. In 2010, without knowing why or how, I wrote songs and put them into the mouths and hearts of those I loved most dearly. The result was a concert to a sold out audience that changed my life. Nine years later a team of professionals have developed that idea into a larger scale musical theatre work. And the story of that show, begins…. now.

PRODUCTION TEAM Writer: Bradley McCaw Director: Neil Gooding Musical Supervisor: Trevor Jones Musical Director: Melfred Lijauco Associate Director: Maureen Bowra Production Design: Raymond Milner Lighting Design: Ben Shotton Sound Design: Matt Erskine Stage Manager: Angela Ponting Producer: Lewis Jones Associate Producer: Michael Mandalios

CAST Rachael Beck as Jane Stephanie Long as Kim Brad McCaw as Bill Oliver Samson as James The team behind Becoming Bill would like to acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal people, the traditional custodians of the land on which we create our work, and pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging. The tradition of storytelling has been passed on by First Nations people since time immemorial, and it is a privilege to share in that tradition.

m a e T e Creativ NIEL GOODING - Director

Neil most recently directed the Australian premiere of Stalking The Bogeyman at The Old Fitz, the World Premiere concert version of Paris in Melbourne, the world Premiere of The Red Tree, and well as being the Assistant Director on the play Church And State which premiered Off-Broadway at New World Stages in February 2017. He also produced and directed High Fidelity at Hayes Theatre Co. Neil was a producer of the Off-Broadway play Handle With Care, and a producer of The 39 Steps, which played at Union Square Theatre in New York. He also produced the Helpmann Award-winning Sweet Charity which launched Hayes Theatre Co, before touring nationally. In 2013, Neil was one of the producers of Alan Cumming’s one-man version of Macbeth on Broadway. Neil was the director of Passion in 2014 (Arts Centre Melbourne - Life Like Touring), Dogfight by Pasek & Paul in 2015 (Hayes Theatre) [Sydney Theatre Award nomination], and the national tour of Thank You For Being A Friend. In 2009, Neil directed and produced the Australian premiere of Gutenberg! The Musical! [Helpmann Award and Greenroom Award nomination] Neil has produced and directed Sing On Through Tomorrow (a song revue by Matthew Robinson), LOVEBiTES by Peter Rutherford and James Millar, Love Letters starring Ian Stenlake and Rachael Beck, Irving Berlin: Songs In The Key Of Black starring Lucy Maunder, Mitchel Butel in Killing Time, The Divine Miss Bette starring Catherine Alcorn, Queenie van de Zandt in Blue: The Songs Of Joni Mitchell and I Get The Music In You, as well as being one of the producers of the hit Australian play Holding The Man in the West End starring Jane Turner and Simon Burke, In 2008, Neil produced (with WhiteBox) the World Premiere of The Hatpin starring Caroline O’Connor, Peter Cousens, Barry Crocker AM and Melle Stewart, which then went on to perform at the NYMF in New York. Neil also served as the Assistant Director on both of these productions. In 2009, he produced the original tour of Breast Wishes around Australia. For several years, Neil was employed by Jacobsen Entertainment, where he was responsible for the financial administration of multiple arena productions. In 2005, Neil was contracted to Jacobsen Entertainment, exploring the potential of overseas productions of Dirty Dancing. Neil also worked for Delta Goodrem and toured Australia as her Tour Accountant on her Visualise Tour. Other directing projects include Side By Side By Sondheim, Diciasette – Mark Vincent, Love Death And An American Guitar, Back To The 80’s, The Road To Bethlehem, Well Swung, Keeping Annabelle, Listen To My Heart, Building A Wing, workshops of The Silver Donkey, High As A Kite, Truth Beauty And A Picture Of You and A Little Touch Of Chaos, and the two workshops of new Australian musical The Hatpin. Neil was also Assistant Director to Gale Edwards for the launch concert of Kookaburra Music Theatre Company. Neil directed Nick Christo’s cabaret show The Fabulous Frances Faye, which was nominated for a Sydney Theatre Critics Award, and was presented in New York in 2009. Neil is the author of Back To The 80’s, as well as the newly released Popstars. He has been awarded a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Law, both from the University of Queensland. Neil was the originating Chairman and one of the founding members of Hayes Theatre Co in Sydney, and is the head of New Musicals Australia.

m a e T e Creativ

TREVOR JONES – Musical Supervisor Trevor Jones is currently a Lecturer in Musical Theatre at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University. At present, he is working towards a PhD focussing on Coaching Opera Singers in Musical Theatre Song and is a leading advocate for Australian Musical Theatre. Trevor is in demand around Australia and internationally as a musical director, conductor, arranger, educator and performer. He was the recipient of the 2011 Brian Stacey Award for Emerging Australian Conductors and works in a wide variety of musical styles and genres, spanning opera, musical theatre, choral music and contemporary commercial music. He has been a faculty member at the Victorian College of the Arts, the Artistic Director of CitiOpera (formerly Melbourne City Opera) and he founded the choral ensemble Choristry in 2008. Trevor has regularly toured internationally, conducting large scale concert tours in major venues throughout mainland China with Broadway performers including Lisa Vroman and Brad Little as well as Australian singers and orchestral musicians. Trevor was Head of Voice and Associate Musical Director of the Victorian State Schools Spectacular from 2011 - 2014. Professional Musical Theatre credits include Avenue Q (Prince Moo Productions), 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Vic Theatre Company, 2016), Dogfight (Doorstep Arts, 2016), Next to Normal (Doorstep Arts, 2014), Titanic (Ballarat, 2012) and Dear World (Magnormos Productions, 2011). He was also the Musical Director of Twisted Broadway in 2017 featuring many of Australia's leading musical theatre performers. As a performer, Trevor has hosted regular nights at Doo-Bop Jazz Bar, The Adelaide Cabaret Festival, The Butterfly Club and Chapel off Chapel. He has performed as a piano bar entertainer around the world and in cabaret shows in major festivals and venues around Australia.

MELFRED LIJAUCO – Musical Director Melfred Lijauco completed the Bachelor of Music at the University of Tasmania with the DJ Motors Music Scholarship, studying classical piano under Shan Deng. He continued onto Honours study the following year with the UTAS University Scholarship in Classical Piano where he conducted research in music analysis and song interpretation. For his academic achievement, he received membership to the Golden Key International Honour Society (2013), was admitted to the Executive Dean’s Honour Roll (2017), and was awarded First Class Honours (2017). Melfred has been involved in several musical theatre productions as a band member, repetiteur, and musical director, including Company, The Addams Family, and Little Shop of Horrors. He was also chorus master for Opera Van Diemensland’s production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, orchestral pianist and répétiteur for the premiere of Don Kay’s opera The Bushranger’s Lover, and the pianist for the premiere of Craig Wood’s song cycle Dream Within A Dream.

m a e T e v i t a e r C

MAUREEN BOWRA - Associate Director Maureen is a much sought after Brisbane-based theatre performer and maker - specialising in the dual roles of Director and Choreographer. Earlier this year Maureen was co-director, associate choreographer and swing for SWEET CHARITY, presented by Understudy Productions and performed at the iconic Brisbane Powerhouse. More recently Maureen had the honour of directing and choreographing MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL, presented by SK Entertainment, which is currently doing a regional tour around Australia to sold-out audiences. Past credits include directing CHICAGO HIGH SCHOOL EDITION (Redcliffe Musical Theatre), TWO MAN TARANTINO (which Maureen directed, co-created and presented last year at the Brisbane Powerhouse as part of the Wonderland Festival), directing/choreographing GREASE (The Show Co - Events Centre Caloundra), directing/choreographing LEGALLY BLONDE (PRIMA), choreographing JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (Gateway Productions Caloundra Events Centre). The past three years have seen Maureen travel Australia with Harvest Rain’s arena productions of GREASE and HAIRSPRAY where she had the pleasure of directing the mass ensemble in each city, working with thousands of young people and sharing her passion of musical theatre. In her spare time, Maureen performs with Candy Shop Show, plays with her puppy and watches way too much Adventure Time.

RAYMOND MILNER - Designer Raymond Milner is a Brisbane based scenic designer working across theatre, dance, circus, musicals, festivals and art installations. Raymond graduated from the University of Southern Queensland with a Bachelor of Theatre Arts in 2009 and in 2015 he was nominated for a Matilda Award; Best Design: set and costume for his work on Pentimento Production’s Heavenly Bodies. Recent productions include: Kill Climate Deniers - THAT Production Company; Season Of Contemporary American Plays 2019 (The Ladies and Sons of the Prophet) - QUT; Six Hundred Ways to Filter a Sunset Queensland Theatre; Bare - Understudy Productions and Poison - EG Productions.

MATT ERSKINE – Sound Designer


Matthew Erskine is a Brisbane based sound engineer/ designer. He has worked in the industry for over a decade on productions for Queensland Theatre, Brisbane Powerhouse, and other commercial producers. His experience ranges from mixing bands to sound designing musicals. Credits include: Black Diggers (2014, Engineer, QTC), Ladies in Black (2015, Sound Design, QTC), A Country Song (2015, Sound System Engineer, QTC), Songs for Nobodies (2013, Engineer, Duet Productions).

Ben developed his lighting skills in the film and television industry in the UK. Since moving to Australia ten years ago Ben has specialised in theatre lighting and design, he is currently the head of lighting at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

m a e T e Creativ

ANGELA PONTING – Stage Manager Angela Ponting is a jack of all trades, master of some. Having completed her Bachelor of Theatre Arts in Stage Management and Technical Production at the University of Southern Queensland in 2007, she worked professionally through Brisbane as a designer and stage manager. Most recently she stage managed the inaugural Curious Arts Festival in Toowoomba, as well as Charlotte’s Web for RAVA Productions, alongside her work at the Empire Theatre. As well as stage managing and designing, her passion for performing has also seen her take on a number of roles in local Toowoomba productions, and earlier this year combined all of her talents to assistant direct the major musical production of Kinky Boots (Empire Theatre). As a writer, Angela debuted her cabaret, Smiling at Strangers, as part of the 2017 Homegrown Series. Later this year she will take on a directors mentorship under Lewis Jones, for the institution that is Women in Voice at the Brisbane Powerhouse. She is thrilled to be back in Brisbane and stage managing for Becoming Bill.


BRADLEY MCCAW - Bill “A true chameleon” was the introduction a seventeen year old Bradley McCaw received when profiled as one of Queensland brightest emerging talents by an Australia magazine (Brisbane News). Some fifteen years later, with countless tours around the world in various art forms and genres, Bradley McCaw has forged his place as one of Australia’s leading creatives in performance, composition and playwriting, working across musical theatre, popular music and classical performance. His first world tour came via singing group, ‘The Ten Tenors,’ which included an internationally televised performance at the 2004 AFL Grand Final. His first one man show, The Complete Unauthorised Biography, was the winner of the 2012 International Cabaret Showcase, before touring internationally including a sold out performance on "42nd St" as part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival. His musical ‘Any Moment’ was the only musical developed at the 2019 inaugural ‘Australian Musical Theatre Festival,’ before being launched at the Melbourne Cabaret Festival in June. His latest one man show 'The Fastest Piano in The West' is a Headline act aboard Royal Caribbean, Viking, Holland America, Princess, Regent, Seabourne and Oceania Cruises and has been performed over 40 times all around the world. His first solo record will be released in late 2019, produced by Hall of Fame guitarist and music legend Louie Shelton. He is also a prolific orchestrator, producing three musical theatre recordings; Becoming Bill (2017), The Oasis (to be released in late 2019) & Any Moment (2019). In 2015, Bradley graduated with a 'Masters in Music Studies' from Griffith Conservatorium of Music, receiving a 2015 Griffith Award for Academic Excellence. His published plays are available at


RACHAEL BECK - Jane Rachael Beck is a multi-faceted, award-winning performer whose credits span both stage and screen as an acclaimed vocal artist and actress. In 2019 Rachael starred alongside Todd McKenney as Charity Barnum in 'Barnum, The Circus Musical' as well as appearing in Alex Lykos’s film 'A Long Night' in which she plays the lead role of Vivian. Rachael’s theatrical highlights include Truly Scrumptious in the national tour of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'; Sally Bowles in IMG’s 'Cabaret', directed by Sam Mendes; Kathy Selden in 'Singin’ in the Rain' directed by David Atkins, (which earned her a Mo Award nomination) and Maria in The Gordon/Frost Organization/SEL production of 'The Sound of Music'. She is widely remembered for her award-winning role as Belle opposite Hugh Jackman in 'Beauty and the Beast'. Further highlights include her Green Room Award nominated performance as Fantine in 'Les Miserables' and Rumpleteaser in 'Cats', both produced by Cameron Mackintosh. Rachael’s other theatre credits include Next to Normal, Strictly Gershwin, The Long and the Short of It, Secret Bridesmaid’s Business, A Little Night Music, Me, My Girl (which toured nationally) The Pajama Game & Call Me Madam (for The Production Company) and You and Me. For the Sydney Theatre Company she has performed in The Wharf Review, Summer Rain (directed by Robyn Nevin) and ‘Lady Mortimer’ in Henry IV and for the QTC, Mother and Son and Into the Woods. Rachael appeared as Lisa Parker in Home & Away and other screen credits include City Homicide, Stingers, Mercury, The Feds, This Man This Woman, GP, Flying Doctors, and Hey Dad. She also appeared in the film Ocean Boulevard and as a coach in Channel 7’s It Takes Two. A highly skilled concert performer, Rachael appeared with Todd McKenney and Tommy Tycho in Broadway to Hollywood with the National Symphony Orchestras’ in Australia. Her other concert credits include the tour of War Of The Worlds, Broadway Hits for Queensland Pops Orchestra, Goodnight Hamer Hall for The Arts Centre, More Than Words at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and QPAC’s Christmas in Concert and Spirit of Christmas. Rachael has also developed The Lionhearted Theatre and Arts Program with workshops currently running in High schools throughout Australia, helping students to unearth mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and disconnection by helping them tell their story using the creative arts. Rachael is a proud Ambassador of the Australian Children’s Music Foundation.


STEPHANIE LONG - Kim Stephanie Long is an accomplished performer from New Zealand, now based in Brisbane. Since graduating university with a Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre), her career path has taken many wild wonderful turns, across a range of genres. Highlights include Edges - A Song Cycle (Understudy Productions), 4 overseas touring contracts with Aladdin’s Adventure, Shimmer and Shine and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Pen2Stage Productions), a year hosting the kids show at Drax4Kids and a stint at Dreamworld Australia both performing and in the role of singing captain. Nowadays, Stephanie can be seen across Brisbane and the Gold Coast as a vocalist in a myriad of cover bands, tribute shows and cabarets.

OLIVER SAMSON - James Oliver Samson is a multi-genre performer and producer with training in Musical Theatre. Since graduating from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University in 2015, he has experienced success locally, nationally, and internationally in Underground Opera's 'West End To Broadway', The Harry Potter Frog Choir at Universal Studios Japan, and as a member of The Ten Tenors. One of Oliver's greatest passions as a performer is new work by local and emerging writers. He has had the privilege of being involved in many readings and first stagings of new work, including On The Docks (Ablett and Bayliss), Don't Call Me Ishmael (Thomson and Taylor), and most recently the Australian premiere of Opera Galactica (Richard Ferguson).


t s i l g n o S


s k n a h T l a i c e Sp SPONSORS Alex Perry Hotels The Park Royal Hotel

SPECIAL THANKS Sue Rider Stephen Brodie Michael Hedges and Dan Cameron of Buck Outdoor Backbone Youth Arts Mary Quade Elaine Ponting New Musicals Australia (Hayes Theatre Co) Kris Stewart, Veronica Neave, Sarah Perrott and The Brisbane Powerhouse Megan Shorey Peta Nelson, Madelaine McCaw, Maryann Madden and Christine McGregor Kathryn McIntyre Zane C Weber Old Fashioned Production Company is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland and by the Brisbane Powerhouse through The Bridge program.

This project was supported by Queensland Theatre through the provision of in-kind venues.

Profile for Lewis Jones

Becoming Bill - Programme  

'Becoming Bill' Premiere Season - Brisbane Powerhouse - August 2019

Becoming Bill - Programme  

'Becoming Bill' Premiere Season - Brisbane Powerhouse - August 2019