Australian Musical Theatre Festival (AMTF 18-22 MAY) - Come to Launceston for a loooong weekend!
Named by UNESCO as a City of Gastronomy, allow yourself some time to explore this beautiful city. Enjoy fine Tasmanian food and wine AND see the best of Australian musical theatre talent performing around the city.
From masterclasses, free events, workshops, and panel discussions to extraordinary local, interstate, and world-renowned performers, AMTF 2022 will delight your senses and is the perfect destination for lovers of theatre, learning, and performances.
Day One Wednesday 18 May
Settle into your room at the Grand Chancellor, Launceston and then head out to explore the town. You could grab a coffee at one of the many amazing cafes in the area, whilst enjoying the architecture of Launceston. Whilst you are out and about finding your bearings, why not eye off some places to eat during your stay?
Head back to your hotel to get ready for tonight’s opening night event and perhaps meet your friends in the bar beforehand.
An Intimate Soiree with the Broadway and West End star Philip Quast opens the festival tonight. He is performing at the Earl Arts Centre, which is just behind gorgeous Princess Theatre. He will also be joined by acclaimed pianist Anne Maree McDonald. They will take you on a captivating journey through the songs and stories of his incredible life.
Enjoy a glass of bubbles from the bar and settle into the opening night of AMTF.
Day Two Thursday 19 May
After the soiree last night, you may like a sleep-in, but then it’s time for brunch. There are so many incredible places to eat, in Launceston so pop on your shoes and take a walk around our gorgeous city to hunt out the best ‘avo on toast.
AMTF kicks off at 1 pm today with In Conversation with Paulini, this is a chance to engage with one of our most exciting artists.
Then we head to the pub, the Royal Oak Hotel in fact, for Choir At The Pub. Entry is by donation and is collected for the Actor’s Benevolent Fund. This event is made for those who can either belt it out with the best, or those still trying to carry a tune.
If you didn’t have dinner at the pub, there are fantastic little places to eat as you head to The Princess Theatre, the venue for Songs For A New World. Originally written as a chamber piece for four performers, ‘Songs for a New World’ has been a cult hit for more than 30 years but has never felt more relevant
This will be the festival’s first presentation of a musical and will be performed in concert with an eight-piece band.
Day Three Friday 20 May
Why not spend some time today exploring the Tamar Valley? There are more than 30 vineyards lining the shores of the valley and no matter your wine style, you will certainly find a variety you love.
Did you know that Tasmania is the oldest wine-producing region in Australia and the valley currently produces 40 percent of Tasmania’s premium quality wine?
Enjoy a late lunch along the way whilst AMTF gets ready for a big afternoon. Some of the highlights include The Hope Concert, last year’s sell-out event Ghostlight
at the stunning Princess Theatre, oh and you have to join us for a late-night soiree, Here’s To The Ladies, at the Earl Art Centre which will be transformed into a glittering cabaret club.
Day Four Saturday 21 May
This morning, you must visit the Harvest Market which is Launceston’s multi-award-winning market, oh and wear some comfy shoes as we have a big day. From the market we suggest you head to Buskers Alley in the Quadrant Mall, as it’s taken over by regular Musical Theatre performances that promise to thrill and delight.
Now, if you are feeling energetic, a gorgeous 30 min walk will have you arrive at the majestic Cataract Gorge, a true wilderness area in the heart of Launceston.
This could become your destination for lunch as The Gorge Restaurant will host Made in Tasmania. Local singers will pair their songs to compliment the much-celebrated wine and local produce, as prepared by the best chefs at the Gorge Restaurant.
As you leave the restaurant say “Hi” to the peacocks and check out the chairlift that crosses The Gorge at the First Basin. Built in 1972, it’s listed as having the longest single-span chairlift in the world.
Day Five Sunday 22 May
After a big day yesterday, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the Hotel Grand Chancellor or one of the fabulous nearby cafes, and over coffee, plan your Sunday.
If you head into the foyer of the Hotel Grand Chancellor you will hear from one of Australia greatest Musical Theatre Experts Philip Quast . In conversation with Philip Quast. Philip is not only one of the best teachers, but he is also one of the nicest gentlemen.
If you haven’t been down to The Seaport, a short walk will get you there and if you continue over the bridge, the walk continues along the river. It’s a lovely place to visit and should give you a nice appetite for lunch.
As we come to the end of the AMTF for 2022, the final concert A Celebration of Australian Musical Theatre features the hits from our home-grown classics, as well as the most current writing, delivered by a mix of special guests and local talent.
A hilariously original addition to this year’s celebration will be a presentation of AMTF first musical, written entirely during the last festival. In 2021, Derek Rowe took on the challenge of ‘composer in residence’, sitting in various cafes and bars throughout the city, interviewing, interrogating, and eavesdropping on local life. The story about how he put it together is most intriguing and you can read about it here
… and that’s a wrap. No doubt you have made many new friends over these past few days. Festivals do that, they have a wonderful way of bringing strangers together and uniting a community, where locals and visitors mingle and share their experiences.
A quick catch-up with the AMTF team…
1. What's AMTF got planned in 2022?
The AMTF has an incredible festival planned. Performances from artists who have graced the stages around the world, from London, New York and of course here in Australia, through to extraordinary local talent. We have workshops for singers, actors and dancers, delivered by world class teachers. Launceston will be the perfect destination for lovers of theatre – oh and keep an eye out for our free events.
2. Who should get excited: music aficionados? Amateur actors? Everyone?
Everyone should be excited about AMTF in 2022. The festival is perfect for theatre lovers, students, performers, and everyone in between. With the festival offering such a diverse program with many opportunities to watch, collaborate, engage and perform (you could even belt out a tune at the pub ) no doubt everyone will find something in the program to suit. If you enjoy the genre, you will love the festival.
3. Tell us about the headline acts…
Philip Quast will either be performing or teaching in 8 different events or masterclasses.
Philips bio is extensive and shot to prominence when he appeared as Javert in not only the original Australian production of Les Misérables, but also on the West End and eventually at The Royal Albert Hall.
He has performed in many productions of Sondheim work, most recently the award winning Follies which was screened live into cinema around the world.
Some of his other roles include Andrew Lloyd Webber's 2006 production of Evita at the Adelphi Theatre, Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd at London's Royal Festival Hall, at The Lincoln Centre in New York and for The English National Opera, London.
He now devotes his time to directing, writing, teaching and collaborating with other talented artist.
Fun fact - In 1981, Philip also began appearing as a presenter in everyone’s favourite Australian children's show Play School, a program he would continue to present for 17 years.
We may all remember Paulini from the very first season of Australian Idol where she made it through to the final four. Since then, she has been heralded as one of the finalist vocalists and performers to come out of Australia. She rose to the top of the Aria charts in 2004 with her debut album and is still 1 of only 10 Australian female solo artists to have a #1 album debut on the Australian ARIA Charts. Paulini played the lead role in The Bodyguard musical and then joined the Saturday Night Fever cast as the lead vocalist. In the festival she will be either performing or teaching in 5 different events.
Chloe Dallimore was born in Melbourne and trained in classical ballet from an early age. After completing her schooling, she travelled to London to accept a scholarship to study Theatre dance at London Studio Centre. She probably best known for her portrayal of Ulla, the Swedish blonde bombshell in "The Producers-The New Mel Brooks Musical" which won her five awards, including the 2005 Helpmann Award. She starred as Morticia Addams in the musical The Addams Family, for which she was nominated for a Helpmann Award.
Chloe danced in Pearl, choreographed by Meryl Tankard for the 30th Anniversary of the Sydney Opera House, performed in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, and was a featured artist in The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber in Shanghai and Beijing. She is currently working on “The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart” starring Sigourney Weaver, the Broadway musical “Jagged Little Pill”, as well as productions for Netflix, Warner Bros, Fremantle, Ch9 and Ch10. Chloe will be joining us for Masterclasses, performances and will even be joining us the Royal Oak for Choir in the Pub
4. How do people get involved?
The easiest ways to get involved is to jump on the AMTF web site www.amtf.org.au and check out the full program. You will find all the information on each event, from the performances, the master classes, the panel discussions, and workshops, and of course the venues they be held in. Grab some friends and family and celebrate 5 days of musical theatre.
5. Hottest tip for visitors to Launnie attending the event?
Find a great café or bar, settle in, peruse the program, and plan your next five days. It truly is an extraordinary opportunity to celebrate this wonderful genre. Oh and the other hot tip……..pre-book your tickets as some events are filling fast and will certainly sell out.