Acting debut for musos


Two well-known Queenstown musicians will be nervously making their acting debuts in a local musical next week.

Full-time musician Shay Muddle and carpenter Emmet McCarthy, who plays in indie rock band Eddie Ledderhead, have lead roles in Twenty Seven, Queenstown’s latest rock and roll musical by Margaret O’Hanlon.

Muddle’s character is loosely based on Robert Johnson, an American blues musician who according to legend sold his soul to the devil at a crossroads in exchange for talent. McCarthy’s character is based on Jimi Hendrix

They are two of the show’s six featured rock stars who all coincidentally died aged 27.

When he saw O’Hanlon’s California Dreaming last year, Muddle, 45, says he was really upset “I hadn’t been part of that ’cos I loved all the music”.

“When this opportunity came about I said to Margaret, ‘I don’t care what I’m doing, I want to be part of your show’.”

Though he acted in shows as a kid, Muddle says it’s still new to him.

After an hour with O’Hanlon last Sunday, he says: “I learnt just a whole lot – how to see behind the words rather than just being words on a sheet of paper. It’s stretching me but it’s good – I’ve cleared the next week-and-a-half of gigs.”

McCarthy says he was doing carpentry work for a friend of O’Hanlon’s when she met him.

“She said, ‘I hear you play music, I might give you a shout some day’.

“She dropped me a message and I met her for a coffee and she said she’s got a Jimi Hendrix-style character. I jumped at the opportunity – Hendrix is one of my idols.”

McCarthy, 30, originally from Ireland, was daunted about learning to act for the first time “but the crew are so good that you jump in and bounce off each other”.

McCarthy’s character steals the lead’s girlfriend.

“I think it comes with the character,” he says, “women hanging off you all the time so that’s a bit of fun, for sure.”

All you need to know

What: Twenty Seven

When: 8pm, Wednesday next week till Saturday

Where: Queenstown Memorial Centre

Tickets: $40 (adults), $25 (children under 16), from Queenstown i-SITE Visitor Centre or on the door