alphabetical author index

Melvyn Morrow

Work by the author

DUSTY - The Original Pop Diva SHOUT! The Legend of the Wild One her holiness
Perfectly Frank Shakespearean Idol

Author's Bio

MELVYN MORROW’s first scripts were performed by Gordon Chater and Jill Perryman at the Phillip Theatre, the Downstairs Revue and in The Mavis Bramston Show. His musical, Morality! ,was presented at the Edinburgh Festival, the London Fringe and off-off-Broadway. Rewritten as Between Earth and Sky, it was produced in Australia by Studio Sydney, directed by the author. With composer, John Mallord, Melvyn wrote book and lyrics for Brother Playboy or Frank Ass, The Francis of Assisi Musical, Cuckoo, a musical of Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, Jack Point, a musical sequel to Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Yeomen of the Guard, Disco, a radio musical for the stage, and Postcards From Provence, a musical adaptation of Alphonse Daudet’s nineteenth century classic, Letters From My Windmill. Starring Australian Opera baritone, John Pringle, Postcards enjoyed critical acclaim in its 1993 stage production at the Zenith Theatre and later on ABC radio. Melvyn’s twenty first century two act update of The Francis of Assisi Musical, Perfectly Frank is published by Origin Music and is now available for schools and community theatre Melvyn wrote and directed A Song To Sing, O, the story of Gilbert and Sullivan and George Grossmith. Starring D’Oyly Carte doyen, John Reed, it played in England in Harrogate and Salisbury then, produced by Dame Bridget D’Oyly Carte, transferred to London’s Savoy Theatre. In Australia, A Song To Sing, O premiered at Theatre South and starred Anthony Warlow. Following its Radio National production starring Dennis Olsen, A Song To Sing, O enjoyed a six month national Australian tour, playing in every major city arts complex, finishing at The Playhouse of the Sydney Opera House. 1993 saw a highly successful return season at Sydney’s Marian St Theatre. A new production starring Christopher Hamilton and directed by the author was produced by Blue Mountains Theatre Company at the Clarendon in Katoomba. This was followed by seasons at The School of Arts Café in Queanbeyan, the Laycock St Theatre in Gosford and Woodstock, Burwood. A Song To Sing, O featuring British G & S star, Simon Butteriss, was the highlight of the 2003 Buxton International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival in the United Kingdom. A New Zealand production and national tour are also in preparation. A full company version of A Song To Sing, O premiered in Melbourne in June 2008, produced by Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Victoria starring Ron Pidcock and and directed by Robert Ray. A return season plays in November at Malvern Theatre. Melvyn's most recent G & S entertainment is the romantic comedy two hander, Poor Wand'ring Ones. Since returning to Australia from England in 1982, Melvyn has written for Sons and Daughters, The Mike Walsh Show, and Star Search, as well as scripting the ABC simulcasts of the Sutherland-Horne-Bonynge Gala, A Masked Ball, and the ABC-Australian Opera Tribute to Dame Joan Sutherland and Richard Bonynge. Significant successes have been Melvyn’s highly acclaimed Gilbert and Sullivan lyric updating for The Australian Opera’s The Gondoliers and The Mikado. (“Our own latter day W.S.Gilbert”..The Australian). Melvyn also wrote new lyrics for the AO’s Die Fledermaus. 1994 saw him once again providing additional material for the AO’s revival of The Gondoliers. His updates and book edits were further hailed in Simon Gallaher’s long-running hit productions of The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado and H.M.S. Pinafore, all now top selling videos. 2000 saw him back with Opera Australia updating their fourth production of The Gondoliers. With David Mitchell and composer, Ray Cook, Melvyn wrote the ballad “Lest I Forget”, sung by Debbie Byrne in the film, Rebel, and also recorded by Judi Connelli. The trio wrote There’s Gonna Be A Day, the official song of the AIDS Trust of Australia and recorded by Judi Connelli. Also with David Mitchell, Melvyn wrote The Other Side of the Water, Lane Cove’s Bicentennial Pageant, Peter Dawson - Off The Record, for the 1988 Adelaide Festival, subsequent national tour, Expo 88, and the Parramatta Riverside Theatre, and Jack O’Hagan’s Here Comes Showtime! which was the acclaimed 1997 Marian St Theatre Christmas musical starring Georgie Parker, directed by Nancye Hayes. They are also developing Confessions of Captain Hook, a tribute to the Australian stage star, Cyril Ritchard. With John Michael Howson, Melvyn and David wrote the book of the mega-hit, SHOUT!, The Legend of The Wild One: the Johnny O’Keefe musical produced by Kevin Jacobsen. SHOUT! played for a year in a season taking in every major Australian capital and then toured regional Australia. The 2008 all star revival featuring Tim Campbell, Mark Holden, Colleen Hewett, Glenn Shorrock and John Paul Young played in Sydney and Melbourne. The writing trio's second musical, Dusty, starring Tamsin Carroll, celebrates the life of Dusty Springfield and proved an even bigger box-office smash, touring all mainland capitals and currently in negotiation to transfer to London’s West End and Canada. Mitchell, Morrow and Cook have most recently collaborated on Better Than Broadway, an original Australian musical to be presented in Melbourne later this year by Magnormos Theatre Company. Revues with Melvyn’s scripts include Flipside [music by Phil Scott - workshopped by Sydney Theatre Company] and at Kinsela’s, 2001, A Postcode, and Notta Lotta Serious Bits. Melvyn’s entertainment, Broadway Bard, a cabaret where Shakespeare meets showbiz, was first performed by the Bell Shakespeare Company, then proved to be Café Basilica’s biggest box office hit when Warwick Allsopp starred in it for three seasons. It was the centrepiece of the 1998 Shakespeare By The River Festival at Stratford Victoria. With playwright, Justin Fleming, Melvyn wrote her holiness, a play about Mary Mackillop, Australia’s first saint. her holiness opened at The Seymour Centre in May 2008 then transferred to Parramatta Riverside Theatre. Melvyn was commissioned by the Jesuits to write the musical, Inigo Audio Video Disco, [music by James Long] to celebrate the five hundredth anniversary of the birth of St Ignatius of Loyola, and by the University of Wollongong to write an ode for the opening of the University Theatre. For Theatre South, he wrote Vroom Vroom, the Motorcycle Musical Wollongong had to have. Melvyn was creative director of the interactive museum, Mary Mackillop Place. He is also a contributor to The Australian Book of Lists. Melvyn’s song, Sydney Symphony, [music by James Long] won the 1992 Song For Sydney Competition. They were also commissioned by the Sisters of St Joseph to write the official Mary Mackillop song to coincide with the Pope’s 1995 visit to beatify Mary. The partnership is currently developing a musical about Louisa Lawson, I’m Not Henry Lawson’s Mother. Melvyn and James are also collaborating on Golden Summers, a musical exhibition/album based on the paintings of the Australian Impressionists. Their singular musical When It Happens, played to capacity audiences at Café Basilica in February and March 1998 and was hailed by the Sydney Star Observer as “the best Australian musical in town”. The return season proved even more successful, and the musical’s development continues. 1994 saw Melvyn’s seventh Christmas At The Opera House. His pantomime, Santa Meets The Bushrangers, was staged at The Zenith in 1995 (starring Scott McRae) and at the SWB Independent Theatre 1998 starring Bernard King. It has since enjoyed numerous community theatre performances. For Judy Glenn he has written Love Will Find A Way, a tribute to Gladys Moncrieff. Melvyn wrote and directed Wendy Dixon’s Opera Broads and Broadway Lays, seen at Pastels. He has written two plays, Beating A Retreat, (Stables) and A Touch Of Paradise (Downstairs Belvoir St). With Terrence Clarke, he collaborated on The Windows Project for the Australian Theatre For Young People. Melvyn’s opera bouffe tribute to Offenbach, Offenbach In The Underworld, (book and lyrics by Melvyn, music by Jacques Offenbach) played to capacity houses at the Zenith Theatre and rewritten as a three hander ran for six weeks at Café Basilica. He wrote the script for June Salter as Queen Victoria in Last Night Of The Proms at the Sydney Opera House. He has also written specialty material for Dennis Olsen. In 1996, Melvyn was nominated for a Mo Award for Outstanding Contribution To Australian Musical Theatre. His production of Tae Kwon Shakespeare starring Ben Seton was the hit of the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Shakespeare On The Mount Festival at Thredbo and the centrepiece of the 2000 Shakespeare On The River Festival at Stratford On Avon, Victoria. Sydney seasons have been at Cafe Basilica, Fox Studios, Café Nine and La Bar. Work in progress includes the play, The Game They Play In Heaven, to be directed by Gale Edwards in 2009 and the revue, Forbidden Gilbert and Sullivan. With rock musician, Joe Kelly, Melvyn wrote book and lyrics for Shakespeare Idol, which was showcased at Bar Me, Kings Cross in November 2005 and received the AWGIE Award for Music Theatre. It has recently been bought by Origin Music who will record and produce it for a national and international tour in 2009.