Pete Seeger and friends at New Theatre


By colin Hesse SYDNEY — One word ... WE! Pete Seeger and friends is a new play about the life and singing of Pete Seeger and the times that shaped the music of Seeger and his contemporaries. It ranges over the end of the Great Depression, the Cold War the anti-Vietnam War period and the environment movement. Playwright and musician Maurie Mulheron has been working up this production for a few years now, and has also been in contact with Seeger to gain insight into the central character of the play. Seeger's desire was to have the spotlight remain firmly on the music and the message rather than the performer. Seeger was not, according to Mulheron, particularly pleased to have a play based on his life alone, and this version of the play will indeed give greater emphasis, not only to Seeger's contemporaries, but also to issues such as feminism and the environment. The play gives powerful context to such songs as "If I Had a Hammer", allowing those of us who weren't around then to understand the importance of these songs to the progressive movement. Having seen an earlier version of this play last year, I can also attest to the feelings of solidarity and love which the performance brings to the songs. The play is on for three weeks only at the New Theatre in King Street, Newtown, from October 21 to November 4. Don't miss it, and bring your voice.
[Colin Hesse is a member of the Solidarity Choir.]

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