THE CURTAIN RISES
At just 18 years of age, Thomas Currie began producing his first cabaret, ‘The Curtain Rises’, which featured music from the Jazz and Golden Age of musical theatre and was received extraordinarily well by audiences. The show played in Kyneton (August 2018) and then in Melbourne (December 2018). Both seasons of performances were entirely sold out.
You can read Thomas’ message about the show below:
“Building a show of any kind is a time consuming one. The journey of this production begins in 2017. I wanted to implement anti-bullying and resilience programs in schools around Australia, inspired by my personal experience with bullying, but such a task can’t be handled alone. I approached Bully Zero Australia, a charity that was doing similar work. I pitched the idea of a cabaret functioning as a fundraiser, with the aim of implementing more programs around the country. I was ecstatic when my offer was met with lavish enthusiasm and excitement. And so, the task began. I assembled a team and I began work; establishing the concept and structure of the show and creating original arrangements of music never before heard, all for a brand new Australian cabaret spreading the message of anti-bullying. By the start of 2018, I was in rehearsals with a cast residing across three different states of Australia. By August 2018, that show, now named ‘The Curtain Rises’ was playing to its first audience, in a sold out premiere in Kyneton, Victoria. If the title of this show were to be extended, I suppose it would become ‘The Curtain Rises on Bullying’, a show that was then described as ‘theatre against bullying’.
The issue has always been close to my heart. I personally felt the effects of bullying in my early years of high school and I will never forget the teacher that stood up for me. She took me aside and dealt with the situations in such a way that years down the track, I am inspired to do the same. In September of 2017, my final year of high school, this teacher past me in the school grounds. She said to me “Tom, if I can ask you honestly, do you ever still think of those times you were bullied?”. I replied, “of course, but not in the way you might think. Those experiences made me not only incredibly resilient, but also stirred a driving passion to never let what happened to me, happen to anyone else. It shaped me.” At risk of sounding cliche, I grew from those experiences. They were horrible, of course but the best form of medicine is optimism. ‘The Curtain Rises’ was a show of hope, passion and fun, with an abounding sense of positivity served on top. You can’t fix bullying with jazz hands (in fact… it might make it worse), but this show will hopefully facilitate work to make a difference.”