Theatre lovers, prepare to be inspired by an epic story of love, courage, survival… and foldable umbrellas. Driftwood The Musical is set to make its Sydney debut this May after a knock-out season in Melbourne – and tickets are selling fast!
Driftwood the Musical is coming to Sydney next month (which is perfect timing for Mother’s Day if you’re looking for a great gift idea). You can take your pick of venues as it’s on at the Glen Street Theatre at Belrose, followed by shows at the Riverside Parramatta and then the Eternity Playhouse in Darlinghurst in June.
The heartfelt musical tells the story of renowned Austrian-Australian sculptor Karl Duldig and his artist-inventor wife, Slawa Horowitz-Duldig. Based on Eva de Jong-Duldi’s original memoir, it chronicles the couple’s life in pre-war Vienna, their miraculous escape from the Holocaust in Nazi Austria, Slawa’s ingenious invention of the foldable umbrella, and their remarkable journey to Melbourne, where the couple rebuilt their careers as artists.
Driftwood The Musical has been adapted for the musical stage by acclaimed director Gary Abrahams from the original stage play ‘Driftwood’ by Jane Bodie..
“We have a world class creative team, a wonderful cast and the music by Anthony Barnhill is haunting and quite magnificent,” says Tania de Jong, who plays the role of her grandmother Slawa. “There is a dearth of true Australian stories of this substance on our stages and this production is inspiring more people to tell and share their stories of suffering, survival, courage and hope.”
This is an inaugural production of the Umbrella Foundation, a registered charity committed to telling stories that matter through the innovative use of music, theatre, and other art forms.
“My mission in life is to change the world, one voice at a time…,” Tania explains. “My husband Peter Hunt and I co-founded the Umbrella Foundation in 2021. This is a registered charity committed to telling stories that matter through the innovative use of music, theatre and other artforms. Driftwood The Musical is our first production. We have many more projects in mind and seek the support of the community to give voice to these projects.”
The production has received critical acclaim and has been reworked with new songs, scenes, and surprises since its sell-out world premiere in Melbourne in May 2022. Cate Crowley, the venue manager at Chapel Off Chapel said, “Driftwood The Musical was one of the most successful new Australian works we have ever seen here at Chapel in our 27-year history. Houses were full and audiences were absolutely thrilled and heartened to see an original story so beautifully portrayed.”
Driftwood has been nominated for a 2023 Green Room Award for “New Australian Music Theatre Writing” and is poised to make a significant impact on the global arts scene.
“We are very excited that there is interest in New York in the show and will be going there later this year,” Tania says. “We hope that productions emerge around the world. There is also the potential of a feature film version.”
Don’t miss your chance to experience this unforgettable production at Glen Street Theatre from 24-28 May, Riverside Parramatta from 31 May – 4 June, and Eternity Playhouse from 7-18 June.
Driftwood The Musical
Glen Street Theatre from 24 – 28 May
Riverside Parramatta from 31 May – 4 June
Eternity Playhouse from 7 – 18 June
Ticket pricing: Starting at $39.90
Main image: Cameron Grant, Parenthesy