“The Rise and Fall of Saint George”: Melbourne play dedicated to George Michael and LGBTQIA+ community

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Australian music legend Paul Mac, playwright Lachlan Philpott and director Kate Champion are teaming up to create ‘The Rise and Fall of Saint George’ at the Arts Centre of Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival, at Hamer Hall from 23-24 January, 2020.

The work was inspired by the vandalism of a Sydney mural that portrays George Michael as a saint, following the 2018 Marriage Equality campaign and the passing of the ‘yes’ vote. The vandalism of the mural suggested the LGBTQIA+ community were still facing scrutiny and solidarity, and George Michael was representative of that contention.

The production will feature collaborations from Ngaiire, Joyride, Brendan Maclean, HANDSOME, Marcus Whale, Andrew Bukenya and Jacqui Dark, alongside a large Melbourne-based community choir. The performance joins song, text and colourful electronica in a show of community, solidarity and freedom.

George Michael who died in 2016 at 53, was born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou. He was open about both his sexuality, being gay, and his Greekness, where he labelled himself “the singing Greek”. In an interview with GQ, he expressed what being gay in a Greek household felt like, specifically about how his father felt about it. “He never displayed any disappointment or homophobia,” says George. “I’m sure he felt it, and it was hard for him, but he didn’t lay any of it onto me which I have to thank him for. This is sad, but I do feel success can negate a parent’s disappointment. I genuinely feel that although his son is gay and not going to give him any grandkids, my dad’s consolation is that I have done well in life.”

This play is set to touch on many confronting themes, mostly surrounding homophobia in Australian society.

Where: Arts Centre Melbourne, Hamer Hall

When: 23-24 January @ 8pm.

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