Albany Town Hall to host local musical The Ballad of Penelope and Marlin

Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
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Katherine Cleary.
Camera IconKatherine Cleary. Credit: Bob Symons/Bob Symons

An Albany busker is getting ready to take to the Albany Town Hall stage in a new Great Southern musical.

Katherine Cleary is set to star in The Ballad of Penelope and Marlin when the production comes alive on stage next month.

Last year, Albany’s Southern Edge Arts received $95,576 through the State’s WA Theatre Development Initiative to present the play to Great Southern audiences.

Directed by Anne Sorenson and Nelson Blake Gilmour, the musical will be performed by a cast of local artists.

Cleary is no stranger to singing on the streets in Albany but performing in The Ballard of Penelope and Marlin will be a new experience.

Known for her singing, she is a passionate advocate for busking and the music community throughout the region.

“It has been a challenging role, pushing me outside my comfort zone a bit,” she said.

The musical is a comical look at life in the future, where robot bees tend to your needs and love begins with an upgrade.

Marlin is the last in a long line of fishermen, with no fish left in the oceans.

He reluctantly enters Harmony Hive and meets Penelope, a future star, who disrupts the hive with a start-up like no other.

It is about hope, desire and a hive that is home to humans and the last living bee.

Rehearsing her role alongside other Great Southern musicians she said it was a “fantastic experience” having David Rastrick as a musical director.

The musical score is written and performed by Albany music maestro David Rastrick and includes rock ballads, jazz and old-school ska.

With accompanying choreography by Annette Carmichael and design by Serena McLauchlan, the play is billed as a “wildly fun evening of musical theatre like nothing you have seen before in the Town Hall”.

It will be the first theatre performance inside the recently refurbished town hall.

As part of the Albany Maritime Festival, The Ballad of Penelope and Marlin will open its two-week season at 7pm on July 8.

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