IT’S A CLASSIC TALE OF HE SAID/SHE SAID. BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT’S REAL?
“I’ve been waiting for someone like you”
Jamie Wellerstein is a literary wunderkind catapulted into superstardom at just 23. Cathy Hiatt is a brilliantly talented actress trying to make it in a city where brilliantly talented actresses are a dime a dozen. A chance meeting kicks off their whirlwind 5 year romance as you watch them meet, fall in love, and how it falls apart. You see both sides as Jamie tells his story from meeting to breakup and Cathy starts alone in their previously shared home and works her way back to the beginning trying to see where it all went wrong.
Director: Katherine Edmond
Musical Director: Ciara Ferguson
A note from the director
I fell in love with the Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown when I was first introduced to it by a friend in my second year at University. It is a musical which grows with the listener as they mature and experience different types of relationships.
In this staging of the Last Five Years I wanted to look beyond the notion that they were both wrong and look at where the ‘wrong’ of each character comes from and why ultimately Jamie and Cathy were not able to make it work. Like so many relationships I think the fundamental reason the relationship fails is because they both have different expectations and different needs, Cathy needs someone who will be a partner and be there for her and Jamie is in love with the idea of being in love rather than the person.
I have decided on minimalist staging because I wanted to focus to be on the emotional journey of the characters with minimal distraction.
Thank you to Elephant in the Room Productions for allowing me to direct one of my favourite musicals.
Cathy sits alone reading a breakup letter from Jamie and lamenting the end of her marriage (Still Hurting). We shift to meet Jamie. It is five years earlier and he has just met Cathy. Jamie is overjoyed to be dating someone who isn’t just another ‘nice jewish girl’ set up for him by his mother. (Shiksa Goddess).
Flash forward and Cathy and Jamie are in Ohio. It is Cathy’s birthday and he has come to visit her (See I’m Smiling). She is trying desperately to fix the problems in their relationship but she becomes angry when Jamie tells her he has to go back early to New York. During breaks in the music, we see a younger Jamie, talking to a literary agent about his book.
Jamie is moving in with Cathy. He comments on how lucky he is that everything is going right for him; his book is being published and his life with Cathy seems too good to be true (Moving Too Fast). Elsewhere an older Cathy is making a call to her agent: it seems her career isn’t going as well.
Cathy is attending Jamie’s book party and she worries she is being left behind in life and her relationship. (I’m a Part of That).
Jamie and Cathy celebrate Christmas. He tells her a new story he has written about an old tailor named Schmuel and he gives her a Christmas present: a watch, promising she can take her time as he will support her following her dreams of acting. (The Schmuel Song).
Cathy is in Ohio and writing to Jamie describing her life in Ohio. Although she is surrounded by eccentric colleagues and is disappointed to be doing Summer Stock theatre, she is making the best of it (A Summer in Ohio).
Jamie is walking with Cathy in Central Park. Jamie proposes to her and, for the first time in the musical, they sing together (“The Next Ten Minutes”). They get married, promising to be together forever.
Jamie is facing temptation from other women, especially now his career as a writer has escalated (A Miracle Would Happen). Cathy, meanwhile, is auditioning for a role (When You Come Home to Me). She is getting down about the rejection she faces as an actress and complains to her father (Climbing Uphill).
Jamie is fighting with Cathy, trying to get her to listen to him. He accuses her of being unsupportive of his career just because hers is failing. Though his words are harsh, he promises her that there’s hope. (If I Didn’t Believe in You).
A younger Cathy is in the car with Jamie, who is going to meet her parents. She tells him about her past relationships and her hopes not to end up in a small town life (I Can Do Better Than That). She asks Jamie to move in with her.
Near the end of the relationship Jamie wakes up beside another woman (Nobody Needs to Know). He tries to defend his actions and blames Cathy.
Cathy is ecstatic after her first date with Jamie. She sings goodbye (Goodbye Until Tomorrow). She proclaims that she has been waiting for Jamie her whole life. Five years on, Jamie sits in their shared apartment writing a goodbye letter to Cathy (I Could Never Rescue You). As Cathy waves Jamie “goodbye until tomorrow”, Jamie wishes Cathy simply “goodbye”.
Director – Katherine Edmond
The Last Five Years is Katherine Edmond’s directorial debut after being an assistant director for Alex Kirk on Christopher Marlow’s ‘The Jew of Malta’, William Congreve’s ‘The Way of The World’ and Nikolai Gogo’s ‘The Government Inspector’ for the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild. Katherine also served as Chair of the University of Adelaide Theatre Guild
Katherine has been involved with Elephant in the Room productions since 2020 as an actor in Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Into the Woods’ and as a coordinating producer for the 2022 Adelaide Fringe run.
Musical Director – Ciara Ferguson
Ciara completed her Bachelor of Music (Jazz Performance) with First Class Honours at the University of Adelaide in 2021, where she also won the 2019 Helpmann Academy award for Top Piano Undergraduate. She has been a pianist, vibraphonist and/or backing vocalist for Tina Arena, Lior, Mark Holden, Eddie Perfect, Rhonda Burchmore, Rachael Beck, Paul Grabowsky, Joe Chindamo, Thando and Wendy Matthews,.
Ciara recently recorded albums with her own jazz/folk quartet, prog-rock band The Cortex Shift, contemporary jazz group Soylent Green (with whom she also performed at Womadelaide 2022 on the Northern Sound System stage) and Mark Simeon Ferguson’s ABC Jazz Commission, Where Emus Roam the Streets.
Ciara sang backing vocals for the 2022 Adelaide Cabaret Festival show Songs My Mother Taught Me featuring Tina Arena, and was part of the creative development workshops for the Adelaide Festival’s 2022 commission, Watershed. She performed in the SA premiere of Steve Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians under the musical direction of Vanessa Tomlinson (2020). Ciara composed the incidental music for the play Of Auburn.
Ciara is the pianist for the Women in Jazz Adelaide Big Band, and regularly gigs around Adelaide in jazz and pop bands, including her family group Marmalade Five, Minnie Little and Burjon. She has facilitated and assisted with workshops in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s children’s programs (including at their 2021 Festival of Orchestra). Ciara works as a piano teacher and accompanist in schools and for the Adelaide Connection jazz choir.
Katie Elle Jackson – Cathy Hiatt
Katie is an award-winning singer, songwriter, actress & teacher. She is a Music Theatre Graduate of NIDA & has both a Bachelor of Music & Post Grad Diploma in Music from The Australian Institute of Music.
Her professional theatrical credits include Violet (Blue Saint Prod./Hayes Theatre), Hair (Exclaim Prod.), Little Egypt’s Speakeasy (Grande Moustache Prod.), Crisis! The Cabaret (Blue Stage Theatre) The Vegetable Plot (Luke Escombe Prod.), Wanted and Wild (Porcelain Alice Prod.) & as an artist for Royal Caribbean Cruises, Sydney Festival, Sydney Fringe Festival, Adelaide Fringe Festival, & Carols in the Domain. In 2013, she was a finalist on “Team Ricky” on The Voice, & in 2018, headlined the NYE celebrations at Festival City in Dubai for an audience of 100,000 people. She has performed at weddings, functions, and live events across the globe for over 15 years.
The Last 5 Years marks Katie’s 4th production with us, having received acclaim for her performances as The Bakers Wife in Into the Woods, for her cabaret Positive, & as a vocalist in the Nordic choral piece, Midnight Sun.
As a songwriter and librettist, Katie’s musical & theatrical works have been performed across Australia. Her cabaret shows, Neighbourhood Watch (KEJ Productions) & Positive (EiTR Prod.) were praised for their scores of original music. In 2014, Katie recorded her EP Songs from Apartment 54, with plans for a full album currently in the works. Katie is finalising her new musical: The FairyTail, with a debut set for 2023.
Katie is also a passionate educator & has taught music and performance at the Australian Institute of Music, NIDA, Tabor College, & for over a dozen schools and independent studios across the country. She currently operates KEJ Voice Studio & works as a singing, choral and drama tutor for Pulteney Grammar School. www.katieellejackson.com
Jamie Moffatt – Jamie Wellerstein
Jamie studied at the Elder Conservatorium of Music from 2007-2009. In late 2009 they began working with Co-Opera and for 8 years were consistently involved in Co-Opera’s major touring ventures including international tours of ‘The Marriage of Figaro’, ‘Acis and Galatea’, & ‘Die Fledermaus’.
In 2010 Jamie began working with the State Opera of South Australia performing in the chorus and minor principal roles including The Mad Hatter in ‘Boojum!’ and Il Commissionario in ‘La Traviata’.
In 2020 and 2022 Jamie was in the Adelaide Festival’s major opera productions of ‘Requiem’ and ‘The Golden Cockerel’
In 2013 Jamie joined The Australian Voices ensemble, international tours including as one of six guests of invitation in the ‘La Voix Du Sud’ festival in Noumea, New Caledonia; in the New York Off Broadway première of ‘Boombox’.
In 2017 Jamie founded Elephant in the Room productions, and performs regularly with them. Jamie’s premiere work with Elephant in the Room, ‘Midnight Sun’ also featured Jamie’s original writing and compositions. Midnight Sun was featured in the Festival of Voices in Hobart and has performed multiple sell out shows in Canberra and Adelaide.
Jamie has also worked as a freelance singing and elocution instructor, a conductor for choirs, and as a freelance singer for corporate and private entertainment. Since 2009 Jamie has yearly produced and performed in the Adelaide Fringe Festival. As a composer, Jamie has had commissions from The Baden Street Singers, The Australian Voices, and various art song soloists across the world.