Corona Musical sure to infect the Ville

The My Corona musical makes light of Townsville's pandemic experience. Pictured Jacob Martinez and Bronwyn Creedy IMAGE: Brent Lammas

While you’ve probably done your best to dodge corona virus for the last two years, you’ll want to work just as hard to catch My Corona, if the hype is anything to go by.

The new strain of musical, written by Brent Lammas and presented by NQOMT, follows an ‘average’ Townsville family and their experience of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who caught Brent’s run-away hit I Can’t Stand Lorraine, about the 2019 floods, will be thrilled to see the return of The Ville family in this highly anticipated follow up.

Brent said the show opens on The Ville family in early 2020.

“In Act One, we learn that Nana took advantage of those cheap flights in early 2020 and choofed off to Bali, only to get stuck there,” said Brent.

“The rest of the family are at home and The Isa ‘lations, their relations from Mount Isa, come to visit for cousin Rodney’s wedding. Of course, the day after the wedding, the Best Man tests positive with COVID, so suddenly they’re all stuck in quarantine together.”

Daniel Hill and Janelle Croft in My Corona IMAGE: Brent Lammas

The comedic chaos is stitched together by a series of musical parodies of hits audience members are sure to recognise.

“Generally, I start with the story and find the points in the story where it needs a song,” Brent says.

“One of my favourites is when they sing about going to the shops. We’ve taken 500 Miles by The Proclaimers and changed the lyrics to ‘You will walk 500 miles and you will walk 500 more, because you forgot your mask and they won’t let you in the store.’

My Corona also reunites all the original cast members from I Can’t Stand Lorraine, including Nancy Nicholson, Richard Price, Adam Blake and Bronwyn Creedy.

“I think those who came to see I Can’t Stand Lorraine really warmed to them,” says Brent.

“And to be honest, each of the actors has been saying to me since I Can’t Stand Lorraine, ‘When are we doing the sequel?’ And I’d say ‘Well, when we have another natural disaster’. 

“It seemed natural them, but I have made sure it’s an absolute stand-alone story. If you haven’t seen I Can’t stand Lorraine it doesn’t matter.”

Brent says the power of comedy lies in its ability to bring the community together to talk and laugh over the challenges of a shared experience.

“I was asked to write this about a year ago and the truth was that COVID hadn’t really affected Townsville. It’s been an inconvenience at worst.

“It’s about acknowledging as a community that we’ve been through something and we’re hanging in there.”

“I’ve been trying to contextualise the show within our Townsville experience – the little things like trying to get your hands on a RAT kit and just being stuck. We’re so grateful that our experience has not been horrendous.

“What I found most powerful about Lorraine was that it became this place where people came and shared their flood stories. People would stay for hours afterwards talking and sharing with complete strangers what happened to them. There was something beautiful about Lorraine opening a space to do that.

“I’m not sure My Corona does that same thing, but it is about acknowledging as a community that we’ve been through something and we’re hanging in there.”

NQOMT will present My Corona 26 May – 4 June 2022.

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