Beloved Indigenous country music singer, Jimmy Little, much missed by his many fans since his passing in 2012, is the central character in Country Song by the Queensland Theatre Company.
The theatrical work, which focuses on the healing power of music has its world premiere in July at the Cremorne Theatre.
Directed by Wesley Enoch, Country Song is written by multi award-winning Reg Cribb from an original concept by Michael Tuahine, who plays the part of Jimmy Little. It takes place in 1973 when the singer is about to go on stage at the Sydney Opera House in front of Queen Elizabeth II. The Aussie singing icon has to sing the National Anthem but the words won’t come.
Jimmy is then whisked away on a fictional road trip to his past, going on a heartwarming journey through the major social changes of the 1970s and encountering stories of other singers such as Auriel Andrew, Wilma Reading, Bobby McLeod and Lionel Rose.
Jimmy, who grew up as the child of Vaudevillian performers and has become a role model and huge star among his fellow Indigenous people, has to weigh up the political power of his voice as he examines his feelings about singing the anthem. What does it really mean to him? And should he go on stage and sing it or not?
Country Song is filled with many of Jimmy’s well-known tunes woven in with a script that won Reg Cribb the 2013 Rodney Seaborn Playwright’s Award for New Work so it’s guaranteed to be a rewarding, moving and toe-tapping night at the theatre.