"Gonna Rob a Bank, Gonna Be A Rich Man One Day, Gonna Rob A Bank. Living it the Easy Way"
The life and times of Australia's most infamous Bushranger and his Gang set to a rollicking score, a mixture of rock, broadway and vaudeville.This has both GREAT humour and GREAT tragedy. Staged in 1978 in Sydney and Adelaide. Now updated with new music and lyrics for the 21st Century.
A note from Reg and Patrick.
When NED KELLY was staged in 1978 Reg Livermore was the superstar of Australian music theatre. He was riding the waves of success from his role as the original Dr Frankenfurter in The Rocky Horror Show, King Herod in JC Superstar, and his own unique one man show’s Betty Blockbuster and The Sacred Cow.
NED KELLY was hailed as having the potential to be the Great Australian musical.
“It was great fun. A real cowboys and Indians show. It’s very entertaining....particularly when the Kelly Gang rob the Bank of New South Wales and later the Police hold a benefit because it is becoming such expensive business chasing outlaws. They ask punters for tuppence to have a look at the bodies Ned and his Gang made dead, but they are disappointed that ‘the people on the whole ain’t very friendly,’ ” says REG.
Reg now continues to write and star in his own one man shows and also for the last seven years has been a celebrity reporter on the Nine Network’s Our House program.
HE says the story of Ned Kelly has universal appeal.
“I firmly believe what Ned Kelly said that men are made mad by bad treatment . He was a victim of his time - a man chosen by the authority figures to bear theblame for all of us . Ned walking out in his armour is perhaps the truly most appalling moment . The felling of Ned is an action of willful cruelty - it is inhumanity par excellence," he said.
But didn’t the Kelly Gang murder three Policemen?
“They were being hunted down. It was the Police or them.” he said.
The music for Ned Kelly was written by Patrick Flynn. He passed away in 2009 after a distinguished conductor for Opera and Ballet orchestras across the United States and the UK. The music is a combination of 70’s rock, vaudeville and operetta. Patrick has written three new songs for the new version.
“The production in 1978 was just an off Broadway trial for this definitive version. Many of the songs are absolute rippers. But I have had to write a few new ones” said Patrick.
Reg has also re-written some of the songs and given it a more traditional musical opening.
Plot / Synopsis
The opening chorus is at Spencer Street station on June 27 1880 with Police and Aboriginal trackers leaving to track down the Kelly Gang. " In the Bush. Give a Push. If we have to we will do it. Spill their Blood in the mud."
Police arrive at the Kelly farm at Eleven Mile Creek there is a scuffle a Police Officer is wounded so the Kellys head bush singing the song Gang Bang. "Altogether bang bang, Ricochet clang rang. Let em all Hang Shining in your eye."
At Stringybark Creek Police find the Kelly Gang in a shoot out Three Police Officers are shot dead. Police sing " those Irish bandits drowning in the same Irish stew Outlawed from today." The Gang realise " we’re never going home again".
On February 10 1879 they rob several Banks at Euroa and Jerilderie burning land deeds for poor farmers. " Gonna Rob a Bank. Gonna Be a Rich Man Some Day".
On June 27 1880 the Gang take over the town of Glenrowen and are holding 60 people in the hotel. Police are tipped off. They sing about ‘The Blood of the Irish’ , Ned’s mother has the poignant song ‘ Die Like a Kelly’. And then there is the final confrontation when Ned’s amour fails to protect him from the bullets of the Victorian Police. “ I shall not be home again. Well that’s life I say.”
10 M, 3 F and Chorus.