The Journey Girl was first presented to Kris while he was working at the Jacobsen Group, and while it was clearly not going to happen there, he decided it was going to be the first thing staged by the production company he was founding in Melbourne with Sam Schwarz.
The production featured Amanda Harrison, who Kris worked with again in 2010 in Wicked, where she plays the lead role of Elphaba.
The story is a relatively common one in Australia – a young girl goes backpacking overseas as a way to see the world. Of course, what was pretty uncommon was the opportunity to launch a new Australian musical. This coming of age story played for two months at the Atheneum, a lovely mid-sized house in central Melbourne.
Most recently, in 2012 Kris returned to direct this show again for the Tasmanian Theatre Company in Hobart, in a revival headed by Nicole Simms. Rare that an Australian musical get more than one production, so this was a lovely opportunity. Photos below.
REVIEWS FOR JOURNEY GIRL
“Last Saturday night a star was born … makes the audience want to break out in spontaneous applause … unflagging energy, warmth and audience rapport … The Journey Girl has got what’s needed to take off anywhere in the world.” DINA ROSS (April 12, 1999), The Age.
“… sassy tour-de-force … under the skilful direction of Kris Stewart, Amanda Harrison take absolute ownership of her role and has a lot of fun with it – and that sense of excitement suffuses the theatre all the way to the back rafters and never falters for an instant.” PETER KOHN (April 14, 1999) The Jewish News
“Prodigious talents involved in launching this one woman show … great performance, and backed throughout by a first-rate team.” PALZ VAUGHAN (April 12, 1999), The Herald Sun