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March 27, 2023

Lismore show celebrates Jimmy Little’s life and music

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Jimmy Little is played by acclaimed actor Michael Tuahine in Country Song.
Jimmy Little is played by acclaimed actor Michael Tuahine in Country Song.

A new production celebrating the life and music of Australian musical legend Jimmy Little, called Country Song, will hit the stage in Lismore next Thursday.

The Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) production was hailed by audiences when it premiered in Brisbane recently, and NORPA is expecting a similar reaction when it shows at Lismore City Hall from  Thursday August 13 to Saturday, 15 August, at 7.30pm.

Country Song is QTC and Queensland Performing Arts Centre’s brand new production from the director of The Sapphires stage play (Wesley Enoch) and the writer of Bran Nue Dae (Reg Cribb).

Inspired by the life of Jimmy Little, Country Song is described as a beautiful, musical, witty and warming journey that celebrates the healing power of music, and  full of laughs while also shining a light on a pivotal time in Australia’s history.

In Country Song, Jimmy is whisked on a fictional road trip to his past as his story weaves through the history of major social changes of the 1970s.

Along the way, we hear stories of singers Auriel Andrew, Bobby McLeod and Lionel Rose in this tribute to the era and the music that was a soundtrack for a generation.

Once a smiling, cheeky child of Vaudevillians, now a poster boy for Indigenous performers, Jimmy takes us through the thoughts of an artist who must weigh up the political power of his voice.

Acclaimed actor and musician Michael Tuahine came up with the original idea for Country Song after being inspired by Walk the Line. Reg Cribb won the 2013 Rodney Seaborn Playwright’s Award for New Work.

A scene from Country Song, NORPA's latest production showing in Lismore from next Thursday.
A scene from Country Song, NORPA’s latest production showing in Lismore from next Thursday.

The cast includes Tuahine, Elaine Crombie, David Page, Bradley McCaw, Megan Sarmardin, and Tibian Wyles.

Audience members can join director Wesley Enoch and performer Michael Tuahine for a Q&A session after the show.

A diner, bar and live music by Blakboi will open the three production nights from 6pm.

The running time is two hours and five minutes, including interval. It is recommended for ages 13-plus, ans it includes a replica firearm, mild coarse language, smoke and haze and adult concepts.

Cost is from $22 to $49

The Jimmy Little Foundation (JLF) works in Australia’s most remote communities in consultation with Elders and Councils, government and non-government agencies, health and community services, and schools and individuals to ensure a healthy future for Indigenous Australians.

To find out more and to support JLF, visit  http://www.jlf.org.au/jlf-programs/

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  1. I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Jimmy Little in the early 2000’s when his career had been boosted by a few hit songs. He played at an indigenous meeting in Ballina. He started with a few of his new hits. All the old Aunties were sitting there perplexed. Jimmy picked up on this, started chatting to them and sang Royal Telephone. The rest of the show was so close and personal that it almost hurt….

    A truly wonderful man


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