Mad About Theatre – the business of world class theatre on the Coast Rock of Ages to play at The Events Centre, Caloundra – October 4 and 5

Tell Madison Thew-Keyworth there is something she cannot do, and she will pretty much prove you wrong. Having been told from a young age she would need to leave the Sunshine Coast if she wanted to pursue a career in performing arts, Madison is now working to make the Coast a hub for world-quality theatre productions.

And it’s working!

Madison is the owner and producer of Mad About Theatre company, founded in 2015 and now in the throes of rehearsing for its upcoming Rock of Ages musical production to play at The Events Centre, Caloundra on October 4 and 5.

 The Mad About Theatre company has previously produced My Brilliant Divorce, Chicago, A Chorus Line and Annie both in Caloundra and Noosa and in 2018, staged the Australian Premiere of Disenchanted before the show was officially premiered in Melbourne. Rock of Ages will be performed in Noosa, Caloundra and Rockhampton.

 Capturing a slice of big bad Hollywood in the 1980s, Rock of Ages includes some classic songs such as Know What Love Is, Feel The Noise, and Hit Me With Your Best Shot as Hollywood legends collide in a crusade to save the Bourbon Room from demolition.

 “I grew up here on the Coast and was told that I’d have to move away interstate or overseas if I wanted to pursue a career in the arts,” Madison explained. “I live in one of the best parts of the world and I thought, ‘well why can’t we have our own industry right here?’.  

 “Afterall, Broadway wasn’t Broadway until someone made it so!”

 Mad About Theatre has enjoyed enormous success since launching as a place for talented artists to pursue and refine their craft in the theatre space and Madison says in making such a space available, she has discovered a deep pool of talent living on the Coast and travelling for work.

Her working life has seen Madison pick up work as a freelance Director/Choreographer/Actor and her achievements include choreographing Mamma Mia in New Zealand last year and founding and teaching at the Sunshine Coast Youth Theatre.

 Madison hails from a long line of performers. Both her grandmothers were professional ballerinas dancing with the Bolshoi Ballet while one of her grandfathers was an actor appearing in many West End shows and being Harry Secombe’s stand-in.

 “There are so many talented professionals living right here who have always had to travel for work,’’ Madison continued. “Now they can start to invest more time and energy right here in our own community.  So, it’s a win all round!  

 “And that’s not to mention the interstate talent who now can’t wait to be in one of our shows so they can come and live on the Sunshine Coast for shows and be paid for it!”

Madison is passionate about producing first-class theatre productions for regional audiences, notably those on the Sunshine Coast.

 “I think the major challenge is creating a culture and encouraging audiences to take a chance on the work being produced locally,” she added.

 “Everyone knows what you expect if you go to Brisbane’s QPAC for example; but to convince audiences that  the same quality of talent and production values are available right here can sometimes be a challenge.”

Skye Leong
Author: Skye Leong

Creativity, Community, Culture