Starstruck – in development

Starstruck – a new Australian musical based on award-winning director Gillian Armstrong’s iconic rock musical satire.

Following a workshop with students and top industry creatives at NIDA in 2018, the piece was further developed and and premiered at NIDA this October, as part of the Season of Student Productions under the direction of Kim Hardwick.

Adapted from the stage by Mitchell Butell and Hilary Bell, Starstruck will premiere at the NIDA Parade Theatre until the 5th November 2019.

With its quirky day-glo-colored fun and string of catchy tunes by Australian homegrown talent, the film was (as critic Paul Byrnes described) “somewhere between a celebration of Australiana and an episode of the iconic 1970s TV rock show, Countdown.” The standout ‘Body and Soul’ became an Australian chart hit, but the other songs like ‘The Monkey in Me’ have become cult classics.

Following the international success of her period piece My Brilliant Career, director Gillian Armstrong veered in a completely new direction with Starstruck, the New Wave musical comedy.  Set around the The Rocks around Sydney Harbour, Starstruck tells the story of the loveable and quirky Jackie Mullen.  She is destined for stardom and she’s prepared to do anything to get there.

Splashy, colorful and naively satirical, producer David Elfick’s film established a new style of Aussie filmmaking now firmly ingrained in the popular consciousness.


A new Australian musical based on the 1982 film by Academy award-winning director Gillian Armstrong. Designed by Brian Thomson (Jesus Christ Superstar, Rocky Horror Show, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, the Musical and designer of Starstruck the film).

Produced with Garry McQuinn Productions
In association with Palm Beach Pictures

Book by Mitchell Butel and Hilary Bell
based on the screenplay by Stephen Maclean
Directed by Kim Hardwick

Acknowledgements to: David Elfick, Stephen Found (Foundation Theatres), Mushroom Music Publishing, Destination NSW and Origin Theatrical


‘The film is a neon lightning bolt wrapped up in a gaudy tourist tea-towel and decoupaged with love letters to a skewiff memory of Hollywood. Now that it’s been reborn, I can only hope that the character of Jackie Mullens will go the way of that other archetypal Australian Muriel Heslop, and her story will be transformed into an all-singin’, all-dancing’ stage show…’

From the Guardian, 31 July, 2017

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