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About the show…


“Pioneers” is an original Australian musical set against the backdrop of a bustling colonial seaport in 1832. It features a book by Rob Martin, along with music and lyrics by Greg Peterson.


“Pioneers” is essentially a story about relationships, renewal, and the secrets that lie deep within its colourful set of characters.


This inevitable clash of cultures allows Rob’s richly drawn characters to take you on a journey of bold themes. Greg’s memorable score features everything from powerful “I Want” songs, intricate ensemble numbers, and stirring choruses.


At a time when we need theatre the most, Rob and Greg are thrilled to be producing a cabaret version of “Pioneers,” slated for early 2022. We can’t wait to share this original musical with you!




How far will people go to escape their past?

Were convicts really guilty of their crimes?

Can true love surpass the boundaries of class and circumstance?

“Pioneers” follows the journey of Arthur Wentworth, an eminent English architect arriving in Australia along with his only daughter, Mary. 


With Arthur assigned to complete the designs for a new Town Hall, Mary comes to terms with her new life and surroundings by forming an unlikely friendship with their hired help, a convict by the name of Seamus McNally.

Along the way, the Wentworths encounter the bureaucratic Town Clerk, Eunice Poppleware and her off-sider, Constable O'Connor.  The Reverend Samuel Wallace and his wife Martha provide guidance and support, whilst at the local tavern, they meet brash barmaid Polly, and experience the nautical ramblings old salt Jeremiah Crowe.  It’s here that the comic antics of inventor Billy T. Potts and Matilda Molloy are also played out.




Like most musicals, “Pioneers” emerged from humble beginnings. In 2000, a cast of six actors and two accompanists first presented the show in the quaint surrounds of the Colac Players Shed. Despite its length, the reading was enthusiastically received from the small audience, and also managed to take a whopping $67 at the box office!


The musical laid dormant for about 5 years (which included time spent in a storage facility in Baulkham Hills) until Rob joined the collaborative team. His much-needed theatrical prowess breathed new life and deeper meaning into the story. Their work resulted in a successful workshop in 2006, which was performed to widespread public acclaim.


Since then, selections from “Pioneers” have been featured in several cabaret shows and studio concerts. Some of the incidental music has even been fully orchestrated and performed by some of Europe’s leading session orchestras.


In 2018, “Pioneers” caught the eyes and ears of two-time Tony Award-winning producers, Bruce Robert Harris and Jack W. Batman from SunnySpot Productions in New York City. As such, both Greg and Rob had the opportunity in New York City to discuss future performance opportunities.


Refusing to let a global pandemic get in the way, both Rob and Greg are excited to be working towards the next chapter in the “Pioneers” story – a cabaret performance slated for early 2022 in Melbourne, Australia.


Interesting facts


“Pioneers” has enjoyed its fair share of drama behind the scenes. Since it was created, “Pioneers” has survived two counts of theft, countless rejection at local and international competitions/workshops, COVID-19 cancellations, and (quite interestingly), criticism from an Off-Broadway producer about our use of the word “arduous!”


Despite the setbacks - the characters keep drawing the writers back in to their world, patiently waiting for another chance to share their songs and stories with you – the audience.


​Look and listen


Head over to Greg's showreels where you can check out some of the amazing performances given of the book and songs over the years.

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