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Thu 28 Apr 2016, 7:30pm–9:00pm
Fri 29 Apr 2016, 7:30pm–9:00pm
Sat 30 Apr 2016, 2:30pm–3:30pm
Sat 30 Apr 2016, 7:30pm–9:00pm

Where: State Theatre, 49 Market St, Sydney CBD, New South Wales

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • From: $79.90
  • Additional fees may apply

Listed by: tessrobrien

THE sensational Australian concert drama Rolling Thunder Vietnam – Songs That Defined A Generation returns for an exclusive national tour in July-August 2016 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

The acclaimed production became one of the most talked about musical and theatrical events of 2014 when it toured nationally after premiering at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) in Brisbane. Under the blazing musical direction of Chong Lim (John Farnham Band, Dancing With the Stars), Rolling Thunder Vietnam earned standing ovations at every performance, winning plaudits from audiences and critics alike.

Rolling Thunder Vietnam showcases an outstanding cast, including rising talents Kimberley Hodgson, Tom Oliver, Will Ewing and Matt Pearce (currently appearing in the musical Rent at Hayes Theatre Co.) They will be joined by the powerhouse Australian singer-actor Ben Mingay, star of Wonderland and Packed to the Rafters. Ben also played the role of Tommy Devito in the Australian tour of Jersey Boys and Billy in Dirty Dancing on London’s West End.

Announcing the exclusive 2016 season of Rolling Thunder Vietnam, producer Rebecca Blake said that it was only a matter of time before the show was back in front of audiences again. “The way Rolling Thunder connected to people when it first toured Australia was very special. Everyone loved hearing those great songs and they were genuinely moved by the storytelling.

“The positive responses from Vietnam Veterans and their families were overwhelming. It was as though they’d been waiting for years to experience their story on stage in such a vibrant and powerful way. It’s a tremendous thrill to be bringing the show back next year, especially in the 50th anniversary year of the Battle of Long Tan in which precious young lives were lost”. The season includes performances in Melbourne, Sydney, Wollongong, the Gold Coast, Canberra, Newcastle and Perth.

The soul-stirring production includes many of the greatest rock songs ever written and produced, including classics by Steppenwolf, Joe Cocker, Buffalo Springfield, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Gladys Knight, Billy Thorpe, The Rolling Stones and Paul Simon.

Conscription, combat, protest and homecoming, Rolling Thunder Vietnam - Songs that Defined A Generation combines personal stories of young Vietnam War soldiers with classic songs of the era. This touching and uplifting theatrical concert draws audiences inside the lives of men on the battlefront and their families and loved ones at home.

The Vietnam War was the world’s first televised war. More than any other conflict it produced some of the most popular and enduring songs of the 20th century. The 2016 tour of Rolling Thunder Vietnam coincides with a number of planned events to honour the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan. The conflict took place on 18 August 1966 in a rubber plantation near Long Tan in Phuoc Tuy Province, South Vietnam. Eighteen Australians were killed and more than 20 wounded.

Rolling Thunder Vietnam features stunning projected images and historic news footage. It is a truthful work written by Bryce Hallett (Freeway – The Chet Baker Journey) and directed by David Berthold (Brisbane Festival artistic director). Based on first-hand interviews with Vietnam War veterans and actual letters, the stories reveal the danger of combat, the rise of the anti-war protest movement in the late ‘60s, comradeship and the toll of war on relationships and families.
The “songs that defined a generation” include Fortunate Son, All Along the Watchtower, The Letter, What’s Going On, Born to be Wild, Killing Me Softly with His Song, We’ve Gotta Get out of This Place and Bridge Over Troubled Water.