Sunday, April 28th, 2013
PERTH actor Brendan Hanson is bringing a sensational Broadway musical comedy to life this May, both on stage and behind the scenes.

The former I Will Survive contestant is co-directing Stephen Sondheim’s Company at the Subiaco Arts Centre and also has the lead role of Robert.

The musical focuses on Robert who, after celebrating his 35th birthday, still can’t commit to a steady relationship despite wanting to share his life with someone.

Looking at how he interacts with his three girlfriends and five married couples who are his best friends, Company was one of the first musicals to deal with contemporary relationship issues through its lyrics and melodies.

Sondheim is famous for Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods and Gypsy, among others, and Company won six Tony Awards – including best musical – when first produced in 1970.

Presented by the ICW Performing Arts Association (a charity that helps performers with disability), the team behind the successful productions of Oliver and Les Miserables at the Regal in 2012 are back again for another year of shows, starting with Company.

Mark Barford is co-directing the show with Hanson, matched with musical direction from Jangoo Chapkhana.

It’s the second time Hanson has played Robert and comes in the wake of his tour de force performance as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables last year and coming sixth in the Channel 10 reality show I Will Survive.

“I’m looking forward to having another crack at it,” he said. “Robert is a wonderful but also challenging role.

“He is enigmatic while still warm and charming, trying to find his place and get clear about what he wants.

“It’s in Robert’s observation of his friends that he puts the pieces together so the challenge in playing him is in his listening.

“He has many girlfriends who, in private, declare Robert to be impossible – available but unattainable.”

A WA Academy of Performing Arts graduate, Hanson has performed in most major Australian theatres in opera, musical theatre, cabaret, drama and comedy.

He has performed for WA Opera, Opera Australia, Cameron Mackintosh, The Gordon Frost Organisation, David Atkins’ Enterprises, The Production Company, Sydney Theatre Company, Black Swan State Theatre Company, Deckchair Theatre and many more.

“With Company, I’m excited to be sharing directing duties with Mark Barford and by the challenge of directing and playing Robert at the same time,” Hanson said.

Producer Ian Westrip described Company as one of the great Sondheim musicals with wonderful insights into the human condition.

“I feel we need to bring these iconic musicals to Perth if we can, also providing opportunities to our local artists at the same time,” he said.

“If we can do this and also create a profile for the charity while providing sophisticated entertainment, then we are fulfilling a great community commitment.

“This is one of the most artistically accessible, thought-provoking musicals that can appeal to all.”

Company plays at 7.30pm, May 1, 2, 3 and 4 with a 2pm matinee also on May 4. Book through Ticketek on 132 849 or at

The ICW Performing Arts Association is also offering a special deal: buy two tickets for Company and receive one free ticket for the preview performance of Cats in July. The deal is only available by calling 0416 251 265.

And if you're an RAC member, you can get a discount on tickets here:

The Subiaco Arts Centre is at 180 Hamersley Road, Subiaco, Western Australia.




company1: Former I Will Survive contestant Brendan Hanson plays the commitment-phobic Bobby in the musical comedy Company with Emma Davis, left, as Kathy, Elethea Sartorelli as Marta and Heather Michele Lawler as April.

company2: The dating game gets nasty in the musical comedy Company when Kathy (Emma Davis, left), Marta (Elethea Sartorelli) and April (Heather Michele Lawler) start fighting over Bobby (Brendan Hanson).

company3: Kathy (Emma Davis, left), Marta (Elethea Sartorelli) and April (Heather Michele Lawler) want Bobby (Brendan Hanson) to commit to someone Company.

company4: Eeny, meeny, miny, moe… should Bobby (Brendan Hanson) pick Kathy (Emma Davis, left), Marta (Elethea Sartorelli) or April (Heather Michele Lawler) in the musical comedy Company?

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ICW Performing Arts Association

People with disability interested in studying performing arts can gain access to funding through a charity established by a WA theatre veteran.

The Ian Charles Westrip Performing Arts Association was established after Mr Westrip saw the benefits performance could make to people with disability after he attended a Melbourne conference in 2008.

“I was convinced by the time I returned to Perth I could do something useful through my Stage Door School of Performing Arts,” he said.

“There have been some astounding results with children making sounds for the first time and people with disability going on to perform professionally.”

The association can help with funding for classes, performances and productions.

For more, go to

Brendan Hanson

The Westrip Institute of Vocal and Performing Arts

The Westrip Institute of Vocal and Performing Arts provides full-time and part-time courses in classical vocal work, stage to screen acting, musical theatre and dance with an emphasis on practical experience in staged productions and concert work. It has been established by former WA Academy of Performing Arts lecturer Ian Westrip OAM at the Perth Modern School campus.
Ian Westrip
P: 0417 969 984


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