A new six-part musical comedy documentary series Australian Epic, where six of Australia’s most defining stories are retold as musicals, will premiere on Wednesday, 8 November at 9pm on ABC TV and ABC iView.
Written by The Chaser’s Chris Taylor and Andrew Hansen, it features 36 original songs performed by an ensemble cast of dazzling triple-threats.
They include Phoenix Jackson Mendoza (Six The Musical), Michelle Brasier (Aunty Donna’s Coffee Café), Fiona Choi (The Family Law), Sami Afuni (Hamilton), Nicholas Kong (Miss Saigon) and Amy Lehpamer (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical).
The six-part series breathes new life into some of the country’s most colourful stories, by giving them the full musical treatment they’ve always deserved.
Australian Epic swings between interviews with the real-life players and musical numbers that give Taylor and Hansen full rein to put their trademark satirical spin on the material.
The stories receiving the complete razzle-dazzle makeover include the unlikely triumph of iceskater Steven Bradbury, the fairy-tale of the young Tasmanian woman Mary Donaldson, the international meltdown caused by Johnny Depp’s pet dogs, Pistol and Boo, the comedy of errors that befell
Melbourne’s cursed Ferris wheel, the saga of Schapelle Corby and the political showdown of the Tampa affair.
Writer and executive producer Chris Taylor said writing comedy songs with Andrew Hansen had always been one of his favourite things in the world to do.
“It was really great to reunite with him on this bonkers project, which features some of the best songs we’ve ever written, I think,” he said.
Hansen said they had wanted some of the songs to be moving, especially in the Tampa episode.