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MTC Tour Announcement: What Rhymes with Cars and Girls

1 Dec 2016

Melbourne Theatre Company is thrilled to today announce that the critically acclaimed musical What Rhymes with Cars and Girls will tour nationally in 2017, opening in Geelong next September before touring to Bendigo, Sydney and Brisbane.

Commissioned by MTC, weaving together the poetic songs from Tim Rogers’ debut solo album, with words by award-winning playwright Aidan Fennessy, audiences first fell in love with this urban romance when it premiered as part of the 2015 MTC season.
The Victorian leg of the tour, with support from the Victoria Government through Creative Victoria, will kick off next year at Geelong Performing Arts Centre on Thursday 21 September, before opening at Ulumbarra Theatre in Bendigo on Friday 29 September.

This intimate musical gem will then send audiences’ hearts singing across the country, as it tours to Riverside Theatres Parramatta on Wednesday 11 October, before closing at Brisbane Powerhouse on Saturday 4 November.

The national tour will see the original cast and creative team return to the stage in perfect harmony, including the acting and singing talents of Johnny Carr and Sophie Ross, completed with a three-piece band led by Musical Director Tim Rogers. Director Clare Watson will bring this contemporary Australian tale of love back to life, following her recent appointment of Artistic Director at Perth-based Black Swan State Theatre.

MTC Artistic Director Brett Sheehy AO said, ‘What Rhymes with Cars and Girls going on tour next year is a testament to Australia’s desire for contemporary, home-grown works. When you combine a feel-good love story inspired by an iconic Australian album with some of the country’s most charming creative talents, you’re bound to create a type of magic that captures the hearts of its audiences, as it did when it premiered in 2015. I have no doubt that it will delight audiences right around the country next year.’

This is the ballad of Tash and Johnno, brought together by a conjunction of the stars and a pizza delivery gone awry. Tash is a smart-mouthed singer in a band and Johnno is a three-time loser from the wrong side of the tracks. But, what do you know? It’s love. Almighty love. With an authentic catch and pain in it, like a song in the throat of one who knows how it goes. Knows how love can lift you high and dash you down. Knows that it’s never the coming together, it’s the holding on.


What Rhymes with Cars and Girls – National Tour Dates

Cast: Johnny Carr and Sophie Ross
Musicians: Ben Franz, Xani Kolac
Director: Clare Watson
Musical Director: Tim Rogers
Set Designer: Andrew Bailey
Costume Designer: Kate Davis
Lighting Designer: Richard Vabre
Sound Designer: Russell Goldsmith

Geelong Performing Arts Centre
21 -23 September 2017
Tickets on sale from December 1
Box Office: (03) 5225 1200 or
Venue Media Enquiries: Shannon Stevenson, Moo Media – 03 5229 8647 / 0412 802 764

Ulumbarra Theatre, Bendigo
29 – 30 September 2017
Tickets on sale from December 1
Box Office: 03 5434 6100 or
Venue Media Enquiries: Anne Henshall, Ulumbarra Theatre – 03 5434 6007 / 0417 418 088

Riverside Theatres Parramatta
11 – 14 October 2017
Tickets on sale now
Box Office: 02 8839 3399 or
Venue Media Enquiries: Lisa Barnes, Kabuku Public Relations – 02 9690 2115 / 0417 366 081

Brisbane Powerhouse
25 October – 4 November 2017
Tickets on sale December 2016
Box Office: 07 3358 8600 or
Venue Media Enquiries: Andrea Dickson, KDPR – (07) 3136 2555 / 0421 971 923


Tim Rogers is an iconic figure in the Australian music scene. As the frontman of internationally renowned band You Am I, Rogers has released 10 studio albums, three of which debuted at number one in consecutive years, with the records also receiving ARIA Awards and multiple platinum and gold statuses for commercial sales. Rogers has also released critically acclaimed solo albums, alongside collaborations with Tex Perkins, The Temperance Union and The Bamboos. His acting credits include performing for Malthouse and Griffin Theatres, as well as a TV hosting role on Studio at the Memo. He will release his first book A Fondness For Detours in 2017, but has no plans to dress appropriately.

Aidan Fennessy is an award-winning writer and director. His plays have been produced by MTC, QTC, Griffin, Black Swan and many more. Most recently, What Rhymes with Cars and Girls debuted at MTC. Last year The House on the Lake had a season at Griffin Theatre after premiering at Black Swan State Theatre Company and The Way Things Work premiered at the Rock Surfers Theatre in Sydney. His play Chilling and Killing My Annabel Lee won the Wal Cherry Award. His 2002 collaboration The Trade won the prestigious Barry Award at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Brutopia won the 2010 Griffin Award and National Interest won the People’s Choice Award at the 2012 Premiers Literary Awards. Aidan was a co-founder of Chameleon Theatre, Artistic Director of the Store Room Theatre Workshop and Associate Director at MTC.

Clare Watson is the Artistic Director of Black Swan State Theatre Company and was previously the Artistic Director of St Martins Youth Arts Centre. She previously directed Lungs and On the Production of Monsters for MTC and has directed for the stages of the Sydney Opera House, Arts Centre Melbourne, the Store Room and La Mama. Watson has created site-specific performance works in a hotel room, the Old Melbourne Gaol, a disused swimming pool, a car, and a crumbling art deco apartment. Her work has won and been nominated for a number of awards including the inaugural Best Director Award for Melbourne Fringe 2005 and she has toured productions nationally and internationally. Watson was part of MTC’s inaugural Women Directors Program in 2014.

Published on 1 December 2016