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The Sound Of Falling Stars: The Melbourne show paying tribute to music legends

From Elvis to Kurt Cobain and everything in between. 

From writer and director Robyn Archer comes The Sound Of Falling Stars, a celebration of some of the most well-known and well-loved voices in 20th century popular music.

This new production showcases the works of many great musicians, from Hank Williams to Kurt Cobain, and Elvis Presley to Jeff Buckley – celebrating these extraordinary talents and examining the world’s fascination with those gone too soon.

Like Archer’s popular one-woman cabaret A Star Is Torn, its successor features the vocal talents of just one man, theatrical chameleon Cameron Goodall.

“I did an enormous amount of research,” explains Goodall. “Immersing myself into the artist in every way possible. In the year I prepared for this [role], my son who was three, I gave him a musical education which also doubled as my research. I would say 'Hey, today’s Elvis day. Let’s listen to some Elvis, read about Elvis, then I’ll style your hair like Elvis.'"

While Goodall’s research into Elvis showed the King to be a figure of parody, the show, however, is not. “It’s not really a show of impressions or impersonations," says Goodall. "It’s much more a show where we try to cast a particular light on each of these guys. That contributes to the overall story we’re telling – it’s about legacy, common patterns and in the end, it’s for us, the audience, to look at our relationship with these stars and wonder whether we play a part in their demise.

“Whether we ask too much, whether some of them who were too vulnerable for fame, whether some of them just didn’t get enough love. Or actually, some of them just seemed to require more love than your average human being, like they just need the love of thousands of people. It’s a fascinating show.”

As a show, Goodall says this is almost an impossible task. But as he firmly puts it, it just means he tries to do his level best to relay the sentiments of the men and the music. “I try to conjure what I think is the truth of each of those artists and in the end, part of the meaning of the show comes from the fact that little old me is still standing and there are 32 guys who aren’t. It’s tragic, but a celebration.”

In his attempts to convey what he calls the truth of these musicians, Goodall says he’s developed a deeper insight into these peoples from his research and performing their music. “Lucky for they’re pretty much across the board artists I love and hold dear anyway.

“The first half of the show is peppered with guys I grew up with. There were some that are less known – a guy called Phil Oaks, he’s unknown to a lot of people and he’s been smuggled into our show, he was an amazing folk protest singer, but over time has been less upheld.

“The show has a through-line of investigating how they died and in doing that, it illuminates what they lived for.”

 

The Sound of Falling Stars runs at the Arts Centre Playhouse from February 28 - March 3.