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Hayes Theatre Co Launch 2016 Season

20 October 2015 | 9:53 am | Danielle O'Donohue

Yes, we said Xanadu.

If the first two years of Hayes Theatre Co were about building a home for stage musicals in Sydney, then the next year is about creating a legacy.

At the season launch for the next six months of shows the venue announced its first touring production, Little Shop Of Horrors; a newly commissioned Australian musical from a pair of young Sydney writers, The Detective's Handbook; a production of the world's longest-running musical The Fantasticks and; according to David Campbell, the "bullshit camp" on rollerskates, Xanadu.

There will also be a return season of the super sold out RENT and cabaret from Rob Mills and Phil Scott, while Neglected Broadway tackles Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl and Virginia Gay takes on the madcap Calamity Jane.

Esther Hannaford, leading lady in Little Shop Of Horrors says she is delighted to be playing the sweet, unassuming Audrey, "It's a dream role for me. The comedy, the dark. Everything about it."

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New musical The Detective's Handbook, a lots-of-laughs take on film noir, will be directed by Jonathan Biggins and was one of the winners of New Musicals Australia's development initiative. Along with new musical Melba, to be staged at Hayes later in the year, The Detective's Handbook was written by Sydney University student Ian Ferrington, with the music provided by Olga Solar.

Ferrington says his background is in writing rap, and the New Musicals Australia initiative was important for his show to take the next step in its development.

The Fantasticks will be directed by regular Hayes performer Helen Dallimore and is the story of two fathers who engineer a fake feud between their families to get their children to fall in love. While the performers will be performing acoustically, the band will be adding electric guitar into the mix.

"We're going to sex it up a little bit," Dallimore says. "It will be a little bit post-punk, a little bit Britpop. It's a musical fusion."

Tickets for all new Hayes shows are on sale now from their website.