The Hanging of Jean Lee
A razor-sharp ‘underbelly song cycle’, The Hanging of Jean Lee traces the life of the last Australian woman hanged, at Pentridge Gaol in 1951. Inspired by Melbourne poet Jordie Albiston’s chilling verse biography, Lee’s story plays out in a dramatic concert version with original music, lyrical text and haunting projections.
Jean Lee, along with lover Robert Clayton and criminal Norman Andrews, was convicted for torturing and murdering 73-year-old bookie William ‘Pop’ Kent. When questioned, Lee perversely confessed sole responsibility, attempting to protect her lover.
Post-punk music genres infuse a score that evokes a noir-esque underworld and exposes raw emotions, performed by iconic Melburnians Max Sharam (Jean Lee), Bad Seeds co-founder Hugo Race, Jeff Duff and Simon Maiden. Andrée Greenwell’s music veers poignantly from erotic charge to sharp lament, combining pop, impro and jazz forms to create a unique ‘theatre of music’ – unnerving, confronting, and ultimately humane.
A seven-piece band will play out the life and times of Jean Lee, including legendary jazz musicians Lachlan Davidson (woodwind) and Greg Spence (trumpet), violinist Andrea Keeble (Collider/David Chesworth Ensemble/Black Arm Band), keyboardist Hanna Silva, guitarist Willy Zygier (Deborah Conway & Willy Zygier), together with bassist Lucas Taranto and drummer Joshua Barber, both of the internationally acclaimed Gotye.
Jordie Albiston and Abe Pogos based upon the verse biography The Hanging of Jean Lee by Jordie Albiston (Black Pepper)
Max Sharam, Hugo Race, Jeff Duff, Simon Maiden
Andrea Keeble, Greg Spence, Lachlan Davidson, Hanna Silva, Willy Zygier, Lucas Taranto, Joshua Barber
Production Manager/Lighting Designer:
Supported by – Robert Salzer Foundation; the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria; the New Music Network; and the City of Melbourne through Arts House. A Green Room Music production, auspiced by Auspicious Arts
Image by – Ponch Hawkes