The Essgee Creative Team




Craig Schaefer has directed all the G&S Essgee shows. His 1995 production of The Mikado received three Green Room Theatre Awards as well as a nomination for Craig's direction. His updated Essgee version of The Pirates of Penzance toured Australia in 1994 and was filmed for television. To date the video sales have reached Triple Platinum status and the soundtrack recording for Pirates received the coveted ARIA Award. Craig's Los Angeles production of The Pirates of Penzance won both Best Director and Best Choreographer awards. He also received the Australian Green Room Theatre Award for Best Director for the Jo Papp version of Pirates (produced by V.S.O.) in 1984 which also starred Jon English and Simon Gallaher. Craig directed the critically acclaimed The Student Prince for Opera Queensland starring Simon Gallaher and Marina Prior and his Los Angeles production of The Student Prince garnered a Best Director award. In the States, Craig directs for the Long Beach Civic Light Opera, the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera and in Los Angeles, for the Light Opera of the South Bay. He also choreographs for television and has staged numerous nightclub acts for headline entertainers. As an actor Craig appeared on the American television series First and Ten for two years and is the voice of Mick McAllister on the animated series Teen Wolf. Craig again directed for Essgee in 1998/99 firstly for the acclaimed Brisbane production of The Merry Widow and then for their Australian and New Zealand touring production of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. Craig returned to Australia in October 2001 and also in 2002 to direct the Essgee Special Anniversary Production of The Pirates of Penzance. Craig returned to Australia in early 2007 to work with Essgee on their new kid's project Showstoppers. Craig is now resident on the Pacific coast of Mexico and is active in many corporate and industrial presentations in U.S. Craig returned to Australia in 2008 to direct Essgee's new version of The Mikado.

Conductor, composer, arranger, band leader; Kevin Hocking is equally happy playing solo piano, conducting a symphony orchestra or performing with his Big Band which often features his vocal group, modestly called The Kevin Hocking Singers. Kevin's name is familiar to many television viewers in the credits for programs such as That's Dancin', The Simon Gallaher Show, Australia You're Standing in It and the series, Talk to the Animals, for all of which he has been Musical Director. He has composed original scores for numerous documentaries, animated films and TV series, including Nature of Australia (for which the music was given an international award), I Can Jump Puddles and recently John Olsen, a Journey Through 'You Beaut' Country'. Kevin Hocking spent several years in Europe and South Africa, working in theatre, television and radio. He was Musical Director for the original Melbourne season of Nunsense and, prior to conducting the 1994/95 tour of Pirates of Penzance and the 1995/96 Mikado tour, for The Mario Lanza Story at Mietta's. Kevin has produced many concert performances at the Victorian Arts Centre. After concluding a New Zealand tour of The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado in 1996 Kevin again conducted and orchestrated Essgee's new production of HMS Pinafore. Kevin has now finished re-orchestrating Essgee's Pirates for for a larger Broadway-styled orchestra. Kevin also conducted Essgee's 1999 production of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum as well as arranging and orchestrating additional material for that show as well as Essgee's The Merry Widow. In 2000 Kevin toured as Simon Gallaher's personal Musical Director in Gallaher's special anniversary tour. In 2001 through to 2003 Kevin again joined the Pirate Band as conductor and musical director for the new tour of Pirates. Kevin has recently orchestrated the full musical version of PARIS for Jon English as well as being commissioned by the W.A. Ballet to write an original orchestration and ballet suite based on the Puccini opera La Boheme. The new ballet premiered in 2004 in Perth followed by a triumphant season in Melbourne at the invitation of The Australian Ballet. Kevin toured throughout 2005 in concert with Julie Anthony & Simon Gallaher and continued touring with them throughout 2006/07. A new CD of Julie & Simon Together At Last features Kevin at the piano. 2007 saw Kevin write a cabaret show entitled Fred & Ginger featuring himself at the piano and as narrator and starring entertainer Phillip Gould. In 2007 Kevin was awarded an AM for services to the music and entertainment industry. Kevin recently completed orchestrating a new recording and concert project for SEEKERS' legend Judith Durham. Kevin was again M.D. in Essgee's new 2009 musical production of The Mikado and continued to be personal MD for Simon Gallaher until 2012. Kevin has recently retired after a lifetime creating wonderful music.

Sydney born, Graham Maclean has had a long career in theatre and his work has been seen throughout Australia and New Zealand. As Resident Designer for the West Australian Opera Company in the mid 70's, he designed most of the major operatic repertoire. Later, as Resident Designer for the Queensland Theatre Company, he designed for many of Australia's leading directors. He has returned to Queensland Theatre Company twice, once for The Barretts of Wimpole Street, which was a notable success and transferred to Sydney; he also designed Blithe Spirit with Barry Creighton. In Sydney, Graham has designed numerous plays. Among his favourites have been Dames At Sea (with Nancye Hayes), Mornings At Seven, Travelling North, Communicating Doors and American Buffalo. In New Zealand he designed a tour of Cinderella with Winsor Davies and Private Lives, directed by Clifford Williams. He has also designed numerous corporate and award shows. These have taken him from Indonesia to Florida and most recently to Hawaii in a show featuring Neil Sedaka. Graham has designed all but three of the Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire, many for the second and third time. He was delighted to receive the Victorian Green Room Award for his designs for The Mikado. He then completed the Essgee Trilogy of G&S with his beautiful designs for HMS Pinafore. He also designed Death Defying Acts and Dracula for John Krummel at Northside, and a production of Anything Goes in Perth. Graham designed sets and costumes for Essgee's production of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum as well as creating revised sets and costumes for Essgee's Special Anniversary Production of Pirates of 2001-2003. Graham designed new productions for the 2008 and 2009 Ensemble Theatre seasons in Sydney and continues to work prolifically across the country. Graham consulted and re-visited his original designs with Essgee's new 2008/09 production of The Mikado. Graham recently retired to country Victoria.

MELVYN MORROW Script Editing and Additional Lyrics

Melvyn Morrow's updated lyrics for The Australian Opera's The Gondoliers and The Mikado caused The Australian to hail him as "our own latter day W.S. Gilbert". Melvyn's one-man show, A Song to Sing O, the story of Gilbert and Sullivan and George Grossmith starred D'Oyly Carte doyen John Reed at the home of G & S, London's Savoy Theatre, and was directed by the author. A Song to Sing O was given its Australian premiere at Theatre South, featuring Anthony Warlow. Following the popular ABC radio production starring Dennis Olsen, the show toured Australia. A return season at Sydney's Marian St Theatre proved even more successful. 1997 will see new productions of A Song To Sing O in Melbourne and Johannesburg. Melvyn's cabaret, Broadway Bard, was performed by the Bell Shakespeare Company, while his opera bouffe, Offenbach in the Underworld, broke box office records at Sydney's Zenith Theatre. His musical, Postcards from Provence based on Alphonse Daudet's stories, starred The Australian Opera's John Pringle. Melvyn has written seven Christmas at the Opera House pantomimes. His play, Beating a Retreat and his musical, Mad Louisa Lawson, for which he wrote book and lyrics, were produced at The Stables Theatre. Melvyn updated lyrics for Simon Gallaher's smash hits, The Pirates of Penzance; The Mikado and HMS Pinafore. In 1996, Melvyn was nominated for a Mo Award for Outstanding Contribution to Musical Theatre. Mel co-wrote the hit Australian musical SHOUT! and again assisted with special material for Essgee's anniversary production of Pirates. Mel recently completed co-writing the Australian musical based on the life of Dusty Springfield entitled DUSTY which opened in early 2006 and toured Australia to capacity audiences. There are hopes that the show will transfer to U.K. A revival production of SHOUT played in Melbourne and Sydney in 2008. Melyn revised lyrics for Essgee's new 2009 version of The Mikado.

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