It takes a great deal of time and money to develop new musicals, and sometimes a venture between a commercial producer and a funded arts company can bear fruit. Cameron Macintosh famously developed an English language version of Les Misérablesin conjunction with the Royal Shakespeare Company. In Australia, Global Creatures developed Muriel’s Wedding the Musicalin association with Sydney Theatre Company, before producing the recent commercial tour.

Tonight, a new Australian musical based on the 1982 film Starstruckwill open at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), resulting from a collaborative partnership with commercial producer Garry McQuinn, who heads RGM Productions with Rina Gill.

Starstruck – The Stage Musical. Photographs supplied

The fully-staged production will be performed by graduating musical theatre and acting students, and staged by design and technical students, as part of the NIDA October 2019 Season of Student Productions, co-produced with RGM Productions in association with Palm Beach Pictures.

McQuinn, who produced one of Australia’s most successful homegrown musicals Priscilla Queen of the Desert, studied at NIDA himself and has maintained a relationship with the training organisation. Speaking to Limelight, he says that the idea he put to NIDA...