Arts + Culture, People of LoganMarch 15, 2024 / 3 minute read

Young playwright's musical debut

At 19 years old, Nicholas Hargreaves is an artist of many talents: singer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, actor and now, playwright.

He started his musical journey as a songwriter at the age of 10 – his first song was a ditty called Sacred Blue, which he now bashfully dismisses as ‘rubbish’ – and diligently studied piano, cello, accordion, guitar, music composition and theatre over the next decade.

And with the help of a Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grant, Nicholas’ first musical will make its world premiere this May at Beenleigh’s beloved Crete Street Theatre.

Mayhem in June tells the story of how a high school clique falls apart and the impact of peer pressure and cancel culture through catchy pop and R&B melodies.

‘I only recently graduated high school, so all this stuff was fresh in my mind about how groupthink in the high school environment can pressure you into decisions when you’re not ready,’ Nicholas says.

‘Even when someone doesn’t have all the facts, if there’s a group consensus at school, it becomes the truth.

‘I wanted to explore how that can affect people and how freeing it can be to disagree.’

Nicholas, who has been penning musicals for competitions and school productions since high school, completed the book and score within a year.

In 2023, he began workshopping the musical with Beenleigh Theatre Group as part of its annual Fringe Festival.

‘The RADF grant has been so great, because getting financial support is a big weight off the backs of creatives in Logan,’ he says.

‘We’re able to put on shows and showcase original works like Mayhem of June because of the funding.’

It’s set to be a busy year for Nicholas, who has just completed a series of performances at Crete Street Theatre as the titular role in Shakespeare in Love and simultaneously juggles coursework for his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.

Nicholas seems unfazed by his demanding 12-hour days before the opening of his show.

‘Between 9 am to 9 pm, I’m either studying, working or rehearsing,’ he says.

‘The first day of rehearsal has been so rewarding – just playing the music and having people read the parts after working on it for so long.

‘It reminded me that this is all actually happening, and that at the end of the day, what it’s leading towards is an evening of theatre.’

Typical of creatives who truly love their craft, he spends his days off working on his next musical, a revue of important figures in the history of flight that have been forgotten.

Tickets are now available for Mayhem in June.

RADF is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Logan City Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland. 

Your Privacy

This website uses ‘cookies’ for analytical purpose and to improve site user experience. By continuing to browse, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.