by Robert Dunstan.
Adelaide’s Cameron Goodall, a founding member of multiple ARIA Award winning band The Audreys, has spent the last few years in Sydney where he has been featuring as Zazu in the long-running musical The Lion King. The Bendigo-born actor and musician is now returning ‘home’ to feature in the Adelaide Cabaret Festival’s world premiere production of The Sound Of Falling Stars which has been written by Robyn Archer who is also directing it.
“Robyn approached me about being in The Sound Of Falling Stars as she’d done a show back in 1979 called A Star Is Torn that focussed on fallen female performers and wanted to write something about male performers,” Cameron says of his involvement during a rehearsal break.”
I recall seeing A Star Is Torn at Festival Theatre and still have the program somewhere and remember that it focussed on the tragic lives of Billie Holiday, Janis Joplin, Patsy Cline, Frances Farmer and more.
“And, yeah, Judy Garland too,” Cameron says. “And Robyn has had the idea of doing a male version of A Star Is Torn for a long, long time so when she asked me to be involved it was easy to say, ‘Yes, let’s do it’.
“And because the show covers such a lot of singers with such a lot of styles, Robyn wanted someone with a strong acting background who could also cover a lot of genres,” he continues. ‘Y’know, someone who could sing a Hank Williams’ song but also do rock. So I’ll be doing Highway To Hell and then doing something operatic by Mario Lanza.
We’ve been building the show together with Robyn writing it and, as far as the music goes, I have a personal connection to pretty much all of it,” Cam adds.
Cameron, who first worked with Robyn many years ago when she directed a production of Hamlet for State Theatre Company Of South Australia, goes on to say that The Sound Of Falling Stars features narrative and song.
“Chronologically, it starts off with Hank Williams who died in the early ’50s and goes through to Kurt Cobain,” he says. “The narrative tracks and explains how and why all these guys died – and there’s about 30 of them – and while some of them are covered quite quickly, others are explored in more depth.
“Along the way you begin to realise that the deaths were becoming more and more gruesome because it starts out with some accidental deaths and then there are guys like Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and John Lennon who were murdered and then there were the ones who were self-destructing such as Sid Vicious, Jim Morrison, Elvis and Kurt Cobain.
“It’s a big, broad list of people but, Sid Vicious included, the basic shape of the show is that their deaths became more and more intense,” Cameron then adds. “And some patterns emerge in The Sound Of Falling Stars about their parental relationships. A lot of them had issues with their fathers and some had issues with their mothers.”
Accompanying Cameron on stage will be keyboard player Enio Pozzebon and accordionist George Butrumlis of Zydeco Jump and an early member of The Black Sorrows.
“We chose piano and accordion as the instrumentation because, otherwise, it could have turned into some kind of cheesy tribute show and it’s definitely not that,’ Cameron announces. “Musically, it has a really different approach to the material and it’s like putting a different lens on the songs.”
Cameron is no longer involved in The Lion King which is continuing its lengthy Sydney run.
“After three years or so I took some time off just to be a stay at home dad with the kids really,” he says. “I had a really good run with The Lion King and it was fun to do and I have so many great memories and was very thankful for it because, having two young kids, it was great to have a stable income for a few years.
“But it became time to draw a line under The Lion King and I am now really enjoying focussing on brand new projects such as this one,” Cameron indicates.
There are plans to tour The Sound Of Falling Stars with a performance in New Zealand already booked.
“We’ll see how it goes at Adelaide Cabaret Festival and then take a look at it to see if it may need any minor changes,” Cameron says. “But, yeah, the plan is to get it up and running as a touring show.”
Cameron is also looking at tackling a solo album later this year.
“I’ve written so many songs over the last few years but just haven’t had the time to do anything with them,” Cameron sighs. “So I want to have a crack at doing an album as I have amassed so many songs it would be worth turning them into a record.
“But I’m yet to decide on when, where and with whom I’ll do that yet,” he concludes with a laugh.
Cameron Goodall performs The Sound Of Falling Stars at Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, at various times on Wed 21 Jun until Thu 22 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
Image courtesy of Damian Bennett