Book by BLAKE ERICKSON & JAY JAMES-MOODY
Music & Lyrics by LAURA MURPHY
Conceived & Directed by JAY JAMES-MOODY
Producer, Concept, Director & Co-Writer
Jay James-Moody is an award-winning actor, director, writer and producer. He is the creator and Artistic Director of acclaimed boutique company Squabbalogic Independent Music Theatre, was a co-founder of Sydney’s Hayes Theatre Company, is the co-author of the musicals GOOD OMENS (with Vicki Larnach & Jim Hare), and made his professional debut in JERRY SPRINGER THE OPERA at the Sydney Opera House. Recent credits include ROMEO & JULIET and TWELFTH NIGHT for Sport For Jove, HERRINGBONE, WEST SIDE STORY for Handa Opera on the Harbour, A CHEERY SOUL and A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM for Sydney Theatre Company, SHE LOVES ME for Hayes Theatre Co and THE BOOK OF MORMON. Directing credits include THE DISMISSAL, GOOD OMENS, HERRINGBONE (with Michael Ralph), STRAIGHT FROM THE HART, BRING IT ON, THE ORIGINAL GREASE, GREY GARDENS, TRIASSIC PARQ, MAN OF LA MANCHA, SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM, THE DROWSY CHAPERONE and CARRIE.
Blake has worked throughout Australia, Asia, Britain, and the United States as a writer, actor, and singer. He studied drama and musical theatre at the University of Sydney & The Actor’s Connection New York. He is the co-writer of the new Australian musical THE DISMISSAL, which premiered at the Seymour Centre in 2019. Past credits include SHREK (GFO), the international tour of Cameron Mackintosh's LES MISÉRABLES (Michael Cassel Group), MAMMA MIA! (Packemin Productions), CRY-BABY, HIGH FIDELITY, MELBA, and his acclaimed cabaret HOLD ME CLOSER LOGIES DANCER (all at Sydney’s Hayes Theatre Co.); the Australia & New Zealand tour of MADIBA, OF THEE I SING at the Sydney Opera House; GREY GARDENS, FORBIDDEN BROADWAY, and SONDHEIM ON SONDHEIM for Squabbalogic. For his performance in the title role of the one-man show PEARLS BEFORE SWINE: AN EVENING WITH ORSON WELLES (Neil Gooding Prod.) Blake won Best Actor at the inaugural Sydney Fringe Festival Awards.
Music & Lyrics
THE DISMISSAL marks Laura’s first time composing a score for a musical. She most recently toured Australia as ‘Tania’ in MURIEL’S WEDDING THE MUSICAL. Her previous performing credits include ALICE IN SLASHERLAND (Old Fitz Theatre), INTO THE WOODS (Bloom Creative), CRY-BABY (Hayes Theatre Co) for which she was nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award, MURIEL’S WEDDING (STC/Global Creatures), YOU’RE A GOODMAN CHARLIE BROWN (Hayes Theatre Co) for which she won a Sydney Theatre Award, FUNNY GIRL (Sydney Symphony Orchestra), SHREK THE MUSICAL (Free-Rain Theatre Company), the world tour of GREASE (GFO), AN ACT OF GOD (Darlinghurst Theatre Company), WICKED (Free-Rain Theatre Company), THREE IN THE BED, THE WIZARD OF oz (Packemin Productions). Laura’s composing credits include WILLIAM AND SPARKLES’ MAGICAL TALES, MAGICAL TALES: SURPRISES AND IMAGINATION TRAIN (Nine Network). Laura is currently composing the score for a new musical THE LOVERS.
Sydney’s acclaimed boutique theatre company Squabbalogic is one of the city’s most beloved independent theatre producers. Founded by Jay James-Moody in 2006, Squabbalogic pioneered a new small-to-mid scale sector of musical theatre through eclectic programming of local premieres of the best new international musicals, and bold reinterpretations from the classic canon of musical theatre.
Squabbalogic’s early success filled a void by connecting with challenging work and writers often neglected by commercial or state theatre companies. This ambitious programming led to Squabbalogic being a principal founding partner in establishing Sydney’s prestigious Hayes Theatre Co, where our award-winning sell-out production of The Drowsy Chaperone was the second production of the inaugural season.
Since 2014, Squabbalogic has been a resident company of the Seymour Centre where we presented annual programming until 2016. Our work has garnered over 40 excellence award nominations, winning many, and prompting the Sydney Theatre Critics awards to create new categories for independent musicals.
Our aim is to provide an opportunity and platform for Australia’s finest emerging artists to collaborate with industry professionals on a range of bold, unexpected, and dynamic productions, sharing with broad demographic audiences a high-quality alternative to large-scale spectacles.
Previously we have enjoyed successful partnerships with New Mardi Gras, Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Seymour Centre’s Reginald Season, Noosa Long Weekend, Royal Caribbean Cruises, City of Sydney, and Sydney Philharmonia Choirs.
Our lauded past work has included Herringbone: A Vaudevillian Ghost Story, The Original Grease, Grey Gardens, Of Thee I Sing, Triassic Parq, Man of La Mancha, Sondheim on Sondheim, The Drowsy Chaperone, Carrie The Musical, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Ordinary Days, A New Brain, [title of show], Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story, Forbidden Broadway, Reefer Madness!, and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot.
Squabbalogic’s recurring Mystery Musical series is also a highly anticipated mainstay of Sydney’s theatre calendar, where the audience does not know what the show is until it begins! Past Mystery Musicals have included presentations of the classic musicals Nine, Kiss Me Kate, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, Hello, Dolly!, and Bye Bye Birdie.
From 2017, Squabbalogic’s attention has shifted to the creation and development of new work, and expanding the repertoire beyond music theatre. Squabbalogic has most recently been commissioning, developing, auspicing, or mentoring emerging authors in the creation of new Australian work. Productions currently in development include The Dismissal, a musical satire about the last days of the Whitlam government; Good Omens, a new musical based on the best-selling novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; The Day of the Triffids, a terrifying immersive adaptation of John Wyndham’s classic text; and Vows, a contemporary song cycle.
Squabbalogic’s work has been supported by The Russell Mills Foundation, Create NSW, the SBW Foundation, Australia Council for the Arts, and many generous individual donors.
FOR AUDITION ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT
Squabbalogic Artistic Director & Producer
The Dismissal was commissioned by Squabbalogic and developed with the generous support of
The Dismissal is a commission of Squabbalogic Independent Music Theatre Inc