Posted by Hazel J Taylor on October 1, 2010
First presented at Federation Square Melbourne in 2007, The Ballad of Backbone Joe has been doing the rounds locally and internationally, landing recently at our very own Sydney Theatre Company.
The Ballad… is the combined original musical and theatre work of the clever boys of the Suitcase Royale – three musician buddies from Melbourne: Miles O'Neil, Glen Walton and Joseph O'Farrell. The team apparently planned on being rockers before discovering their particular niche in theatre, and they’ve cornered it well. Called a ‘rag ‘n bone’ band by some (a reference to the group’s penchant for setting up collected junk and inventing their own fabulous on stage environments), the Suitcase Royale are devoted to their wildly entertaining cause of fitting performances of original musical work into hilarious and unwieldy theatre performance.
The Ballad’s intriguing storyline revolves around the murder of a woman in a red dress, which sounds a lot more serious than it actually is. The trio are so comfortable with their on-stage selves, that this Kluster writer wouldn’t be surprised if entire slabs of the performance turned out to be ad lib, conjured up on the fly.
Sydney Theatre Company is presenting their two week season of The Ballad of Backbone Joe until 2 October 2010. This means you need to get in pretty fast, and be prepared to laugh. The Suitcase Royale also performed September’s free post-show STC Wharf sessions, which, if you don’t already know, happen every month. You can go along and watch and hear live music played by seriously talented people for free. Yes, for free.