Musical extravaganza ‘Rolling Thunder Vietnam’ to return in 2023

Rolling Thunder

Acclaimed by critics and audiences, the rock drama Rolling Thunder Vietnam makes its eagerly-awaited return to the stage in 2023 for its most extensive national tour to date.

The show took Australia by storm when it last toured in 2016 and hopes to do the same when it returns for limited performances in April, May and June 2023.

The tour plays Gold Coast, Brisbane, Toowoomba, Caloundra, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong, Perth, Adelaide, Frankston and Melbourne.

At the production’s heart is a love story of courage, longing and resilience. Tom Oliver (Velvet, The Marcia Hines Band) reprises the role of country boy Johnny in the celebrated rock drama.

Rolling Thunder Vietnam is a unique and stirring production combining great rock classics of the ‘60s and ‘70s, stunning video footage across four screens, and heartfelt storytelling inspired by interviews with Vietnam War veterans and actual letters.

Producers say in an era of uncertainty and the war in Ukraine, the show’s themes of courage and loss, allegiance and displacement, protest and peace, are resonant and timely.

Since the world premiere of Rolling Thunder Vietnam at QPAC in Brisbane in 2014, it has become one of the most talked about musical and theatrical events to be created and produced in Australia.

The production has been warmly received by Veterans and in 2023 Rolling Thunder Vietnam will proudly be supporting Soldier On, a not-for-profit organisation providing integrated and holistic support services to Australia’s Defence personnel, contemporary veterans and their families.

Producer Rebecca Blake said the show is one that appeals and connects to a broad audiences

“The show has earned rave reviews as ‘an electrifying tour de force’ that ‘reaches deep into the soul’. It connects to a broad audience, not only because of its brilliant songs but because it has so much humanity and heart. The Vietnam Vets have embraced the show since the beginning, many of them our biggest fans.

“We look forward to partnering with Soldier On and also introducing the show to a younger audience. It’s wonderful to be bringing the show back to the stage after the impact of Covid-19 caused the sudden cancellation of our 2020 tour. We are thrilled to again showcase some of the world’s best musicians, alongside a cast of young new talents for audiences to discover.”

Dr Brendan Nelson, the former Director of the Australian War Memorial, is Patron of the 2023 tour.

“The show is magnificent. A story of courage, endurance and love. If you see one show this year, this is the one to experience; you will be entertained, inspired, you will cry, but you will definitely want to see it again and again.” Dr Nelson said.

The production features enduring and unforgettable rock songs, including classics by Steppenwolf, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Gladys Knight, Billy Thorpe and Paul Simon.

The era of the Vietnam War – the world’s first televised war – produced many of the most strident and lyrical songs of the 20th century: Fortunate Son, All Along The Watchtower, The Letter, Magic Carpet Ride, Help Me Make it Through the Night, What’s Going On, Born
to Be Wild, Eve of Destruction, Paint it Black, Killing Me Softly With His Song and Bridge Over Troubled Water.

Find out more about the show at their website. www.rollingthundervietnam.com

Source: Media Release, image: Jeff Busby. 


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