Rick Springfield’s life on the stage

Photo: Contributed

Please Note: The Stratford Courthouse will no longer be showing Late, Late at Night this weekend as advertised.

The show has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

Stefan Bradley’s original story continues below.

 

Late, Late At Night, a play celebrating Rick Springfield, is coming to the Stratford Courthouse Theatre.

Written by award-winning Australian playwright, Kieran Carroll, Late, Late At Night is a new stage adaptation of Rick Springfield’s 2010 memoir of the same name.

Self-penned, the memoir is written (except for the opening chapter) in chronological form from the 1950s through to 2010.

The work traces Springfield’s Australian and British childhood, his early music days in Australia, his rollercoaster ride in 1970s America and the huge pop and acting successes of the 1980s.

This is followed by his fall from public view, his mental health demise, and finally, the resurrection of Rick Springfield as an artist in the 21st century.

The aim of this biographical and musical stage adaptation – much like the result of the memoir – is to go far beyond Rick’s popular pop image or what he is best remembered for on the 1980s pop charts.

This stage adaptation captures the heart and essence of Springfield’s major concerns and musings: depression, God, no God, his parents, self-motivation, a long sustaining career, love versus sex, music versus acting, his wife and sons, the way America shaped him and what he left behind in Australia as he built his career to lead the seemingly glamorous and not-so-glamorous expatriate life.

This play adaptation is written as a two act, one-man work. Springfield moves between the text and the songs throughout.

Mr Carroll told the Gippsland Times that he contacted Rick Springfield’s management after reading the autobiography to propose a stage adaptation.

“Permission was granted and I began working on the play in 2018. It’s been a longish but very good process,” Mr Carroll said.

“Both Rick and his management were very helpful and supportive with my endeavours. The show is starting in Victoria, going to NSW and we eventually hope to take it to America.

“I was well aware of Rick Springfield’s 80s successes and had followed more recent work. Before writing the play, I was less au fait with his 70s albums but I did know Zoot, the 60s band he had with Darryl Cotton and Beeb Birtles.

“He’s had 22 solo albums and my admiration for his work ethic has grown and grown. He’s an Australian star, 17 Top 40 US hits, but this is not widely known in Australia.

“Rick hasn’t seen the show yet. The video is on the way! We are right at the beginning of the touring so I’m looking forward to his thoughts. He has read the script though and likes it very much.

“There are no changes from the book. It’s a very accurate mirroring of the autobiography.”

Performing the role of Rick Springfield in the play will be Sydney pop singer and actor Jackson Carroll (no relation to Kieran Carroll).

“Jackson has a fantastic voice, similar looks, fine acting skills and like Springfield, a great work ethic. Jackson does an incredible job with a demanding role and the audience gets 20 great Springfield songs across his vast career during the two-hour, ten-minute performance,” Mr Carroll said.

“It will be a great night and grab your tickets early! I am sure they will go fast if the other show sales are any indication.

“The Stratford Courthouse Theatre is a perfect space and size for a one man performance and we were very keen to bring the show to Gippsland. The venue also has a lot of old world charm. I kind of imagine Zoot playing there in about 1970!”