Noah takes to the stage in Brisbane with an outback Queensland twist

Date: 2021-09-22 01:52:30

IT’S so dry in South-East Queensland that local authorities are warning of possible water restrictions but people in a Brisbane northside parish are preparing for a huge flood, one of biblical proportions.

There’s no need to worry, though; all the action’s happening on stage.

More than 40 parishioners in the Parish of St Joseph and St Anthony in Bracken Ridge – and some from outside the parish – will present an original stage musical called Noah this weekend.

Long-time parish musician Phil Halpin has created the show taking Noah from the Book of Genesis to tell a story with a Queensland flavour.

Crissie O’Dea, one of the performers who is handling publicity for the show, said it was “a modern take on Noah, the biblical classic that we all know, and with a nice twist to the end”.

“It’s set in outback Queensland among drought-stricken farmers, so we raise things about the environment and the fact that we’re damaging the Earth and that God comes down and says, ‘Well, if you’re going to kill it, then I’m going to flood it and save it …’ so that we can get rid of the pollution and everything else, and actually start again, basically,” Ms O’Dea said.

“The story is about the town trying to persuade God otherwise by showing that they can work together as a community to make a difference and actually change… that flooding is not the only option, that they want to save the country, and they’re willing to change to do it.”

She said the message was a hopeful one.

“It is about how communities pull together,” she said.

Ms O’Dea said the music “makes the show”.

“The band is amazing the way they’ve brought all the songs to life,” she said.

And she said Mr Halpin’s passion for music shone through.

“It is a true musical in the sense that musicals tell the story through song as opposed to having songs in a play,” she said.

“The music really does tell the story.”

The play’s also a lot of fun, and Ms O’Dea said people of all ages would enjoy it.

Noah crew: The cast and crew of the stage musical Noah are all set for performances this weekend.

“There’s a lot of little side stories, like Noah’s son is getting married to one of the local girls and Noah’s best mate Barney comes into it; he owns the local bakery,” she said.

“Noah and his wife own the local pub so there’s a lot of activity around the community in the pub too.

“And there’s a wedding scene.

“The music is a lot of fun.

“I have an eight-year-old son who comes along to rehearsals every day and he knows all the songs backwards and gets up and does a little bootscoot with us in one of the bootscooting songs. He loves it.”

The play continues a proud tradtion of shows from the JAFA Performance Group.

“JAFA stands for St Joseph’s and St Anthony’s Fellowship of the Arts, and it started out as an outreach program to help bring the community into the Church and get them involved,” Ms O’Dea said.

“A good percentage of these people do come from the Church but we still have people who come back who are outside of that who come in because they love the community and the spirit and the togetherness that we have in our productions.”

Noah is on at the Bernie Costigan Centre, near St Joseph’s Church, Bracken Ridge, at 7.30pm on September 24 and 25, 2pm on September 25 and 4pm on September 26.

Tickets are on sale at or by phone on 0412 988 416.

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