A theatre show celebrating the life of ’60s icon Nico is coming to Australia

Words by Kate Streader

The artist behind one of the greatest rock albums.

In an Australian exclusive, a theatre production depicting the life and music of ’60s cultural icon Nico, titled The Nico Project, will make its way Down Under as part of Melbourne International Arts Festival.

Perhaps best known for her work on The Velvet Underground’s seminal debut The Velvet Underground and Nico, the German-born singer fast became a staple of popular culture. Born Christa Päffgen, Nico began her career in film with appearances in Fellini’s La Dolce Vita and Andy Warhol’s Chelsea Girls before making her mark on the music scene. While her collaboration with The Velvet Underground remains her magnum opus, The Nico Project looks beyond that album to her sorely undervalued career and solo work.

Starring Maxine Peake (Black MirrorShameless), The Nico Project delves into the artist’s personal history, revealing the dark shadows of her too-short life. Inspired by her 1968 album The Marble Index and featuring a cast of 15 female musicians, the production revels in the mystery of the vocalist and speaks to the power of her work.

Directed by Sarah Francom and featuring music composed by Anna Clyne, The Nico Project is an unwavering and honest salute to an artist whose work would go on to shape counterculture. The production will make its way to Melbourne for a limited run following its premiere at the Manchester Film Festival earlier this month.

The Nico Project will appear at Arts Centre Melbourne from Tuesday October 11 until Sunday October 20 as part of Melbourne International Arts Festival. For tickets and more information, head to the festival website.