A chance reading of a historical account -‘The Prince and the Assassin’ by Steve Harris – recalling the visit to Australia of Prince Alfred in 1868, provided the inspiration for NSW composer and lyricist Lindsay McGregor to write ‘The Prince and the Prostitute the Musical’.
McGregor commented, “I was totally blown away by the newspaper reports of the lusty Prince’s behaviour and was drawn to the plight of the idealistic ‘mad’ Irish Deacon who attempted his assassination in the name of colonial oppression.
The rather hidden, perhaps taboo, subject of republicanism is explored through the assassin’s deteriorating mental state – a man of ideals turned to violence by a Protestant hegemony and his own Bishop’s self-indulgence – he becomes a political pawn for a self-obsessed Politician.”
The new musical weaves a tragic love story between the Prince and one of his favourite Melbourne prostitutes within the intriguing setting of colonial Australia’s domestic, political and religious life.
Prince Alfred, a young man looking for the love his mother never showed him, seeks freedom from his structured and orchestrated royal life and takes up with an intelligent Melbourne sex worker who, similarly, is looking for an escape from her own situation – forced upon her by to the androcentricity of colonial-era Australia.
Featuring the “founding father” Sir Henry Parkes as the opportunistic Politician, and the founding Archbishop of Melbourne Bishop Goold, as a Narcissistic Sybarite, the musical deals with the outcomes of the conservative mindset on the lives of those subjected to their power. As expected, the ending is tragic for the individuals who have little power to change their own circumstances
With highly artistic projection design and lighting, experienced Brisbane and Melbourne performers, historical costumes and some great tunes, the piece contrasts soft jazz/blues with rock, rap and hip hop influences which make for an interesting blend of styles.
McGregor sees the musical as sitting more within the earlier Sondheim tradition. He notes “it’s not your usual Broadway-style musical – all singing and dancing – it’s a musical within a Play really.”
“It is structured around a typical well-off Protestant man reading the news of the day introducing historical episodes enacted and sung which takes the audience inside the news story and enables their catharsis.”
The premiere of The Prince and the Prostitute will be presented at Queensland Multicultural Centre on Saturday the 22nd of October 2022 at 8pm.
For more information or tickets visit the official website.
Media release supplied.