Wes Carr leads young cast in the new Aussie rock musical.
Wes Carr leads young cast in the new Aussie rock musical. CONTRIBUTED

Wes Carr to star in new musical Rolling Thunder Vietnam

SINGER songwriter and Australian Idol winner Wes Carr will tread the boards in his first professional theatre role in a new concert musical.

Rolling Thunder Vietnam follows the stories of Aussie soldiers from conscription through to combat, protest and coming home from the Vietnam War and features a soundtrack chock full of '60s classics from bands including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joe Cocker, Marvin Gaye and The Rolling Stones.

"It's my first time coming out in an acting role," Carr told APN.

"It's exciting for me to take on another challenge.

"I grew up on all this music, so that makes it easy in that way."

The new production will have its world premiere at QPAC in Brisbane on August 14 before touring the country.

David Berthold directs while Chong Lim, best known as the musical conductor for Dancing With the Stars and the John Farnham Band, is the musical director.

Bryce Hallett's script is based on letters and first-hand interviews with Aussie Vietnam War veterans.

"The deeply personal stories have largely sprung from face-to-face interviews with Australian soldiers who lived in this era" Hallett said.

"I wanted the monologues between songs to be truthful and spare. Most of the songs in the show are essentially anti-war protest songs that brilliantly convey the rhythm, spirit and mood of the times. Many are epic in nature and the directness of the storytelling serves to bring a raw intimacy to the music."

Carr leads a cast of young new talent including Queenslanders Kimberly Hodgson, Vanessa Krummenacher and Matthew Pearce as well as The Voice contestant Tom Oliver.

The Voice's Tom Oliver.
The Voice's Tom Oliver. NIGEL WRIGHT

Oliver featured in this week's blind auditions and was chosen by coach Kylie Minogue.

"It's definitely changed since the days of Australian Idol; there are so many shows now," Carr said.

"You need to plan ahead. You need to make sure that you know what you're doing and I think Tom does. It's good to see. He's so young, he's got it all ahead of him.

"You've always got to throw your hat in the ring if you're wondering about it."

Rolling Thunder Vietnam plays Toowoomba's Empire Theatre on August 8 and 9, QPAC's Concert Hall on August 14 and 15 and The Event Centre Caloundra on August 16 and 17.

Tickets go on sale on Monday.


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