End of The Rainbow
Queensland Theatre Company and Queensland Performing Arts Centre present End of The Rainbow.
It’s Christmas 1968 – and Judy Garland is not in Kansas any more. The former child star is shacked up in London’s Ritz Hotel with fiancé number five, Mickey Deans, and her loyal friend and pianist, Anthony. A whirlwind success in her youth, the years have been unkind.
As her finances crumble, her celebrity continues to fade and the press savagely turn on her, Garland is clutching at the straw she thinks will save her career: a five-week run of cabaret shows at the Talk of the Town nightclub.
Peter Quilter’s poignant End of the Rainbow paints a warts-and-all picture of the beloved but tortured musical icon, her strained relationships with men, her struggle to stay in the spotlight – and the pill habit that would claim her life.
After a show-stopping turn in Bombshells last year, Christen O’Leary returns to Queensland Theatre Company to fill Judy’s ruby slippers and explore the destructive dark side of worldwide fame.
“As we watch the star, who at the beginning is high on life and ready to hit the stage again, slowly crumble into the drug-addled, drinkaddicted mess that she becomes, it is heartbreaking to watch but also brilliant to behold.” [...] This piece is very much a vehicle for O’Leary and she grasps the opportunity with both hands delivering the performance of her life. She will be remembered as one of Australia’s greatest interpreters of Garland after this performance.” – The Courier Mail
“…as it should be, it’s Christen O’Leary as the superstar in need of a chemist who commands the stage, her character always at the point of detonation, but never losing control of the dramatic through-line. [...] This is the sort of heart-and-soul performance, risking all, that wins awards.” – The Australian
“…what can you possibly say about Christen O’Leary without sounding like her publicist or her lover? Her every movement is a lesson in Garland, but her performance is nothing textbook. O’Leary can curse and shake wildly and then shift into a trapped bird-like stillness, before launching a soaring version of ‘You Made Me Love You’ or ‘The Trolley Song’. [...] If there’s a better performance than O’Leary’s in Brisbane this season, we’re in for a very good year.” – ArtsHub (4 stars out of 5)
“Stellar performances from three strategic cast members has the audience crying along with Judy when she feels she is being rejected; root for her when she manages to shine again; feel her angst when she is back on the drug-run that has been her life from deception to inception, walking the yellow brick road from Wizard of Oz through to drawing her last tragic breath.” – Australian Stage
“O’Leary is the perfect Garland, capturing her coquettishness, her vibrant sexuality, her vulnerability and her agonies to make this an entirely credible portrayal.” – Crickey
“O’Leary’s performance and obvious intensive research into character and vocal stylisation is quite remarkable and award worthy.” – Aussie Theatre
Duration: 2 hours and 10 minutes (includes 20 minute interval)
Subject to change without notice.