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Fugitive Songs - Review

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by Mistress of Culture Vultures (subscribe)
I am a writer living in Melbourne who loves to devour culture and the arts. Visit me at www.pumptheatre.com.au
Event: -
A musical about finding a new life whilst in flight
Fugitive Songs a 'mini' musical about finding a new life produced by SONDER Theatre Company now showing at Chapel Off Chapel, until 2 September. Book your tickets here

Watch the trailer here

Fugitive Songs, Sonder Theatre Company, Chapel Off Chapel, Musical, Prahran, Melbourne, American, contemporary, Chris Miller, Nathan Tysen, Dirk Hoult, Caleb Garfinkel
Karen played by Anna Wilshire - photo courtesy of Lissa & Laz Photography of


Written by Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen, Fugitive Songs made its debut in 'Off Broadway' New York in 2008. It's a 'mini' musical with a '19-song journey' about fleeing past lives and working out a new life whilst on the run. From Utah to West Virginia, Montana to Washington Heights, Fugitive Songs takes the audience on bus and train trips across the United States of America through six characters who are fleeing and processing problems whilst in 'flight'.

Fugitive Songs, Sonder Theatre Company, Chapel Off Chapel, Musical, Prahran, Melbourne, American, contemporary, Chris Miller, Nathan Tysen, Dirk Hoult, Caleb Garfinkel
Matt played by Bailey Dunnage - photo courtesy of Lissa & Laz Photography


Relationships break ups, absent parents, a lack of childhood affection, university days, the frustration of the 9 to 5 grind in low paid work, cheating lovers, bad 'trips' in the Arizona desert, gun and bar fights are all part of Fugitive Songs exploration of dealing with life's issues, whilst travelling to no set destination.

Fugitive Songs, Sonder Theatre Company, Chapel Off Chapel, Musical, Prahran, Melbourne, American, contemporary, Chris Miller, Nathan Tysen, Dirk Hoult, Caleb Garfinkel
Alysha played by Jessica Papst and Barrett played by Luisa Scrofani - photo courtesy of Lissa & Laz Photography


The true moments in the musical are realised when each character 'settles' and reflects on their experience, what could be, what may have been, regrets, and then resolve to move forward. The challenge for Director Dirk Hoult is choreographing six performers, a three-piece live band into a small theatre space like 'The Loft' at Chapel Off Chapel and 19 songs into an 80-minute show. However, the intimacy of this theatre successfully connects the audience to the storytelling and the characters Gavin (Lachlan Hammill) Barrett (Luisa Scrofani) Matt (Bailey Dunnage), Alysha (Jessica Papst), Joshua (Saxon Gray) and Karen (Anna Wilshire).

Fugitive Songs, Sonder Theatre Company, Chapel Off Chapel, Musical, Prahran, Melbourne, American, contemporary, Chris Miller, Nathan Tysen, Dirk Hoult, Caleb Garfinkel
Joshua played by Saxon Gray - photo courtesy of Lissa & Laz Photography


The musical direction of Caleb Garfinkel was exceptional and the songs range in style from country and western, Americana to gospel, cabaret, jazz, exposing the diverse range of music across the USA continent and a talented cast with standout performances by Bailey Dunnage and Anna Wilshire.

Fugitive Songs, Sonder Theatre Company, Chapel Off Chapel, Musical, Prahran, Melbourne, American, contemporary, Chris Miller, Nathan Tysen, Dirk Hoult, Caleb Garfinkel
Fugitive Song ensemble - photo courtesy of Lissa & Laz Photography


My favourite songs were 'Annie's Party' performed by Anna Wilshire (Karen), 'Washington Heights' performed by Saxon Gray (Joshua), 'Subway Song' and 'Kansas Sky' performed by Lachlan Hammill (Gavin), Bailey Dunnage (Matt) and Saxon Gray (Joshua), 'Wilson' performed by Bailey Dunnage (Matt), Jessica Papst (Alysha) and Anna Wilshire (Karen) and 'Growing Up' performed by Bailey Dunnage.

Fugitive Songs, Sonder Theatre Company, Chapel Off Chapel, Musical, Prahran, Melbourne, American, contemporary, Chris Miller, Nathan Tysen, Dirk Hoult, Caleb Garfinkel
The Cast & Crew of Fugitive Songs - courtesy of SONDER Theatre Company


If you've ever had to flee a situation, or are a travelling spirit, you will enjoy this show. Fugitive Songs has something for everyone especially if you love American music and guitars (there are at least three played in this show). But be quick it's a short season at Chapel Off Chapel, and hopefully, Fugitive Songs will get another run at a theatre near you soon.

Fugitive Songs, Sonder Theatre Company, Chapel Off Chapel, Musical, Prahran, Melbourne, American, contemporary, Chris Miller, Nathan Tysen, Dirk Hoult, Caleb Garfinkel
Official flyer




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Why? Americana music and stories of restlessness
When: 7.30 pm, Wed to Sat, 2.00 pm, Sunday
Phone: 03 8290 7000
Where: Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran, Vic, 3181
Cost: $33.00 - $40.00
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