Photos – Nick Manuell

Melbourne is fortunate to receive a consistent rotation of blockbuster musicals to the city, between Wicked, Chicago, Sunset Boulevard, we’re often spoilt for choice when heading out to the theatre. And while the razzle of these productions continues to dazzle, there’s something truly magical about watching a new work take to the stage and bring the house down.

Jude Perl is a multi-award-winning singer, songwriter and comedian who is no stranger to a cabaret or comedy festival. Based off her solo show Roommates: The Musical, Perl has fleshed out the score and story to include two new characters, Jane (Isabelle Davis) and Alice (Anita Mei La Terra) in Share House: The Musical. Perl plays the role of Lucy in this production, a fiscally responsible millennial who at 35 lives with her cynical childhood friend Jane.

They are soon joined by the overtly optimistic Alice who begins to show Lucy that there is joy to be found in life, much to Jane’s disapproval. And so, the devil/angel dynamic is established, with Lucy stuck in the middle. Meanwhile, in the rafters, past versions of Jane and Lucy relive a tween-era dance performance that goes to explain some of their adult personality traits.

While the story is engaging, it is the music that really shines. Perl has a unique turn of phrase and ability to write a catchy tune that speaks to an audience. The content isn’t overly “musical theatre” and takes elements from 90s pop, weaving in cultural references perfect for the elder millennial crowd.

There are so many reasons to love Share House: The Musical. From the expertly written tunes that capture the cultural zeitgeist perfectly, to the honest performances onstage, Share House: The Musical, is funny, clever and weirdly emotional.

The cast are joined on stage by the orchestra, who, led by Brendan Tsui, interact with the performers, adding layers of humour in amongst their adept musicality.

Perl’s show speaks to a millennial audience caught in a cost-of-living crisis and stuck between boomer ideologies of the white picket fence life and Gen Z just trying to save us all from a climate disaster. It doesn’t fall into any preconceived tropes of single women, but rather tells an honest tale of 21st century life. I have only good things to say about this production and I hope there is a return season in the works, so more people can experience the magic of Perl's music.

Event details

Arts Centre Melbourne presents
Share House: The Musical
by Jude Perl, Brendan Tsui & Desiree Munro

Director Desiree Munro

Venue: Fairfax Theatre | Arts Centre Melbourne VIC
Dates: 16 – 19 May 2024
Tickets: $59 – $20

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