Kate Miller-Heidke Wins Prestigious Musical Awards For 'Bananaland'

1 March 2024 | 10:57 am | Mary Varvaris

Kate Miller-Heidke wrote that she and her team are “humbled” by the wins and “in awe of our spectacular cast”.

Kate Miller-Heidke

Kate Miller-Heidke (Credit: Jo Duck)

More Kate Miller-Heidke More Kate Miller-Heidke

Kate Miller-Heidke and Keir Nuttall’s musical, Bananaland, has been recognised by the Queensland theatre industry, winning Best Musical and Best Composition and/or Sound Design at the prestigious Matilda Awards.

In a statement posted to social media, Miller-Heidke wrote that she and her team are “humbled” by the wins and “in awe of our spectacular cast”. You can read her statement below.

Bananaland debuted at QPAC’s Playhouse as part of the Brisbane Festival from 16 September to 1 October 2023. The musical follows a 21-year-old character named Ruby in a protest band called Kitty Litter.

The music and lyrics for Bananaland were written by Kate Miller-Heidke and her husband and musician, Keir Nuttall.

In a press release, Miller-Heidke described the musical as an “uplifting and irreverent musical comedy, with a hook-filled score”. She explained that Bananaland is both “razor sharp and big-hearted. A tribute to the glorious absurdity of following an impossible dream and a celebration of live performance.”

The Matilda Awards promote the “excellence of southeast Queensland’s theatre industry”.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

In a live review for The Music, Emma Newbury dubbed Bananaland a “hit”. Discussing the emotions throughout the musical in the write-up, Newbury concluded, “Life imitates art imitates life, and we laughed and cried as Bananaland showed a lot of us creatives our own quandaries thrown back to us but in a better-dressed, well-versed way.

“This piece of work can teach us all a lesson about the chameleonism of not just creative pursuits but of growing up.”

Kate Miller-Heidke’s statement about Bananaland winning Matilda Awards:

We are humbled to have Bananaland win Best Musical and Best Composition/Sound Design at the prestigious Matilda Awards.

New Australian musicals are rare things. We got to make Bananaland only because of the faith, grace, and bold vision of Lou Bezzina at Brisbane Festival and John Kotzas at QPAC along with their dedicated teams.

The creative freedom, encouragement, and space we were given is something we appreciate deeply.

We’re in awe of our spectacular cast, led by the radiant Max McKenna as Ruby, alongside Georgina Hopson, Joe Kalou, Maxwell Simon, Dave Eastgate, Amber McMahon, Chris Ryan, Erika Naddei, Mark Hill and Stephen Madsen. Our indefatigable and brilliant director, Simon Phillips; the music team led by James Dobinson; our tireless champions at Brisbane Festival, especially Min Collie-Holmes; Olivia Ansell at Sydney Festival - all these people and more were crucial in the making of Bananaland.

The arts are a channel for our shared humanity, regardless of identity or political stripe. When it works, art reveals us to ourselves, our contradictions, our foibles, and the fact that for all our strutting and fretting, we are essentially absurd and hilarious creatures.

We love the theatre. In the 21st century, it’s a sacred space where anyone can forget the world and share a dream for a few hours. Before returning to the shared dream outside.