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CHECKMATE: Australian stars Silvie Paladino & David Harris join The Very Popular Theatre Company’s production of Chess in Newcastle

Civic Theatre Newcastle Friday & Saturday 27-28 March 2020

Two of the biggest names in Australian musical theatre, Silvie Paladino & David Harris will join Newcastle’s Very Popular Theatre Company for their production of Chess in March at the Civic Theatre Newcastle. This will be the first time David Harris has returned to Newcastle to perform in his home town in a major event. And when we say major… We’re talking HUGE!

Joining the seven principal performers will be a supporting cast of 16, a 34 member orchestra, a 200 strong choir, 12 dancers and a bunch of other speciality performers. The scale of the production alone is a pretty big deal for Newcastle Theatre.

“Dan Wilson, our Musical Director, had the idea to stage Chess on a scale that would bring together people from the music world, theatre world, dance world and choral world. Hence why we have a company of around 280 performers.” artistic director Daniel Stoddart says.

On stage with Silvie and David, as part of the principal cast, is a lineup of some of our most celebrated local performers. Award-winning singer, songwriter and performer Amy Vee plays Svetlana Sergievsky and is joined by Newcastle University Choir Artistic Director Christopher Allan, Matt Edwards fresh from the Mamma Mia Australian Tour, and prolific performers, Marty Worrall and Marissa Saroca.

Civic Theatre Newcastle
Friday & Saturday 27-28 March 2020

Daniel also hopes that working with two highly experienced and respected musical theatre performers like Silvie Paladino & David Harris will give the local cast an incomparable educational experience.

“The educational experience for our local performers of being in the room with these two uber-talented people is one of the most exciting things about working with Silvie and David. The opportunity for our wonderful Newcastle performers to watch these two highly-experienced professionals at work and learning from how they work is going to be extra special to watch,” says Daniel.

From the team who brought Mamma Mia to the Civic in 2019

At the helm of this massive production of Chess are the people who brought Mamma Mia to Newcastle in 2019. The production received rave reviews, and massive applause from the audience every night over its two week run at the Civic Theatre Newcastle.

Director Erin James, who studied Musical Theatre at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts is “getting the band back together” with musical Director Dan Wilson – the man behind the music at Star Struck every year. The pair are expected to recreate the magic from their 2019 production in this epic staging of Chess in March.

Chess the musical for the uninitiated

For the uninitiated, Chess is a musical written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, who initially rose to fame with their disco juggernaut ABBA, and musical royalty Tim Rice.

The story is all about this weird love triangle between Florence (played by Silvie Paladino) and two of the world’s top players (David Harris & Marty Worrall) in a politically charged chess tournament. It’s some freaky cold war metaphorical stuff and features some big songs including the massive hit One Night in Bangkok.

One of Australia’s must-see performers

Anyone who’s ever watched Carols By Candlelight on the television would have seen Silvie Paladino perform and heard her amazing voice.

Over the years Silvie has performed in London’s West End, played Donna in another musical featuring music from Benny and Björn in the runaway the smash hit Mamma Mia! and more recently performed at 54 Below just off-Broadway in New York City.

David Harris returns to Newcastle

This will be the first time David Harris has returned to Newcastle to perform in an event of this scale. David now divides his time living and working in New York, London and, luckily for us, Australia.

Beyond the stage, David has worked in television dramas like Neighbours, Blue Heelers and Rescue: Special Ops. He’s appeared on the big screen in films like The Eye of the Storm starring Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis and South Pacific starring Glenn Close and Harry Connick Jnr.

Civic Theatre Newcastle
Friday & Saturday 27-28 March 2020