Synopsis

A musical comedy about Beryl Mills, a country girl who is crowned the unlikely winner of the first Miss Australia competition and embarks on a promotional tour of the USA, where her humble roots collide with her newfound celebrity status.

This story is a coming of age musical comedy about plucky farm girl Beryl Mills who is anxious for her life to begin. After being crowned the unlikely winner of the first Miss Australia competition, Beryl embarks on a promotional tour of the United States with Frank Packer and her mother Kitty as chaperones. Upon their arrival, they are greeted by Miss America who quickly becomes jealous of Beryl’s popularity and plans to jeopardise her reputation, but ultimately impacts her own. As Beryl struggles to reconcile her newfound celebrity status with her country roots, she is confronted with the knowledge that she has been used to encourage immigration to Australia. With a nation-wide broadcast on the horizon, she must decide whether to uphold the role she has been given or stay true to herself. Ultimately Beryl writes her own speech, earning the respect and admiration of the nation.

Form and Style:
A small cast of four performers bring this tale to life, providing an intimate viewing experience so rarely afforded in musical theatre, where the audience’s toes will be tapping just inches from the tap dancing! The show blends new and old, fusing a nostalgic design with a quick witted, tongue in cheek, contemporary delivery. Set in 1926, the design elements of the show juxtapose the glamour of the USA in the roaring 20s with the dusty reality of Australian rural living. The book and lyrics draw from the seemingly endless supply of archived materials about Beryl Mills. Often using verbatim text, the show examines the parallels between the 1920s and now in terms of female media scrutiny, Australian/American relations, and institutional power abuse.

Duration of performance:
1 hour and 45 mins

Interval: Yes

Maximum performances a week: 4

Remount: $35,367. This cost is dependent on the size of the venues being toured to. The fee listed is taking into account the expanding of the production for a larger venue than a black box theatre space.

Weekly Fee: $12,210

Royalties: 10%

Date the performance is available from: August 2019

No. people in Touring Party: 6

Bump-in Time: Min 3 hours

Bump-out Time: 3 hours

First Possible Performance: Afternoon/Evening of First Day

Minimum Break Between Shows: 2 hours

Theatre formats: Proscenium Arch, Black Box, Thrust

Minimum Stage Width: 9.370

Minimum Stage Depth: 5.440

Minimum Stage Height: 3.585

Minimum Wing Space:
Enough space for a standing piano/keyboard.

Set Description:
When the show begins, the setting is Geraldton in 1926. The textures used are wood and corrugated iron. During the show, the set transforms to America in 1926. This setting is gold and glitzy, reminiscent of the 'roaring 20's' .

Staging Description:
The staging incorporates jazz dancing, singing and straight scenes. We are juxtaposing the classic American Broadway style with a familiar Aussie landscape and sense of humour.

Lighting - provided by company: N/A

Lighting Requirements - to be provided by venue: Rig with LED capabilities and a few specials.

Audio - provided by company: Key board to be used by accompanist.

Audio Requirements - to be provided by venue:
4 headset mics and access to in house speaker system.

No. of additional lighting staff required from venue: 1

No. of additional sound staff required from venue: 1

No. of multi-taskers from venue: N/A

Dressing rooms required: 1

Other technical or performance notes:
If the venue has access to an upright piano, we would love to use that.

Marketing Collateral:
Can be provided upon request.

Community Engagement:

- A post show Q and A about the process of making the show and the story of Beryl Mills.

- We would run 1-2 musical theatre workshops for interested people - this would be run by the performers on tour. This would be geared towards signing/dancing/acting techniques. We could also run a workshop on devising material for performances so this is about writing and devising for the theatre.

- We would also consider collaborating with interested Museums/Libraries to present any archival material that they may have of Beryl and the Miss Australia Quest. We could present these things in the foyer of the venue OR direct patrons to the Museum or Library.

Target Market:
Mothers and daughters, pageantry audiences/participants, Midwest & Wheatbelt communities, young women, primary, secondary, university, feminists.

Contact Email: blondemomenttheatre@gmail.com


Reviews

“Miss Westralia is a lovely new little Aussie musical with as much charm as Beryl Mills herself."

Kimberley Shaw, Stage Whispers

“Beryl Mills was ahead of her time with goals and aspirations that defied not only what was expected from a woman in 1926 but what was expected from a pageant queen.”

Holly Ferguson, Dircksey

Artform

Music Theatre