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the musical

Based on the novel, Unrequited

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“A glittery, loud, proud and completely unique musical extravaganza.”


Beatrice Smith, HerCanberra 

Read the full review

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A fresh Australian musical by Sally Whitwell and Emma Grey


Deadpan Anti-fan is a fun, uplifting, contemporary coming-of-age story. At once a Cinderella fairytale and a story of individual creative empowerment.


Thirty years after meeting at Canberra Girls’ Grammar School, writer Emma Grey and dual-ARIA winning composer, Sally Whitwell, are thrilled to collaborate on this show. Sally’s immediate response to Emma’s novel, Unrequited, upon which the musical is based was:


“This has Blockbuster Broadway Musical and Hollywood Movie Deal written all over it. All. Over. It.”


Songs from the show have been performed at industry showcases Broadway Unplugged (Sydney) March 2016 and Broadway Sessions (Adelaide) December 2017. 


Emma’s novel was acquired by HarperCollins and released with the title, Unrequited, in September, 2017. It was reviewed by the Children’s Book Council of Australia:


From the outset this book’s energy engulfed me. It pulled me in and sent me back to my teen years – in a good way! Emma Grey writes with obvious passion and spirit which elevates the story and gives it that spark that makes YA literature unique and special.


A workshop production of the show was presented at St Clare's College in Canberra in 2017.


“Think cleverly worded boyband numbers, beautifully orchestrated ballads, hilariously vain pop star numbers, and heart-wrenching duets that wouldn’t be out of place on Broadway.”

In 2018, the show was selected for the Homegrown Grassroots Initiative in Melbourne. This program offers musical theatre creators the opportunity to have their writing critiqued by established industry professionals. The critics described the show as ‘musically sophisticated’, with a clear path forward in high schools, 'all the way up to a young Broadway Chorus'. 

Sally and Emma presented a public lecture about the development of the show at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in May, 2019. Their goals with the show are to provide as many opportunities as possible to musical theatre performers and creatives and to add a quality piece of original musical theatre to the repertoire, a piece that, crucially, speaks to a young adult audience in an empowering and entertaining way.

We'd love to have a conversation about staging the show at your school


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