John Waters’ new original musical 'Rondolino'

Australia’s John Waters’ original new work, RONDOLINO – a Blackadder/Monty Pythonesque Renaissance musical comedy! Set in the early 1600s, Galileo, convicted of heresy, finds himself locked down in isolation in the villa of the flamboyant Ferdinando II de’ Medici - Grand Duke of Tuscany. History ends; craziness begins!

Be among the first to have the opportunity to help produce the first musical written in isolation, about isolation! You can be part of the discovery and promotion of a whole new independent part of the arts industry in Australia who have fallen through the cracks of government funding during the Covid 19 crisis.

Not content to wait around for someone else to keep creative productions alive and flourishing, John Waters and his creative partner Stewart D’Arrietta are developing a new and completely original production. Just like Shakespeare produced King Lear and Macbeth during the Bubonic plague, many creative people have produced work out of necessity and under pressured conditions, which has gone on to be hugely successful.

This new and completely original Australian musical is the brainchild of John and Stewart who, as writer and composer respectively, have performed their own hugely successful work, “Lennon Through a Glass Onion” around Australia and elsewhere in the world. This piece has had an extended run of twenty six years and includes performances on the West End of London, John’s hometown, as well as a Yoko Ono supported run at the Union Square Theatre in New York and the Sydney Opera House. Further seasons in Edinburgh, Tokyo and Liverpool have established this show on the international calendar of must-see music/theatre.’-

John has remained in music and musical theatre throughout his extensive career playing the lead role of Claude in the Sydney production of 'Hair'; appearing in 'Godspell', 'Two Gentlemen of Verona', 'A Little Night Music' 'Jacques Brel', 'They're Playing Our Song' with Jacki Weaver, as well as the classic leading roles of Henry Higgins, Captain Von Trapp and Fagin.

Of course, many in Australia will know John for his role as Darcy in Offspring but also from the 'New Wave' of Australian cinema of the seventies in movies that like 'Summerfield', 'The Getting of Wisdom', 'End Play' and 'Breaker Morant'.

John and Stewart’s desire - during a pandemic where John has received no government assistance like countless of others in the industry, and both having had a total cancellation of all their work since March 2020 - is to create, from scratch, a vehicle for actors and musicians that is topical, innovative, and energetic. Pure entertainment is what they feel audiences in 2021 will crave, and with RONDOLINO, it is what they wish to deliver.

John Waters says: “What our whole industry needs, when the filling of theatres with patrons is finally allowed, is original product, where no royalties go overseas, and both high and low budget productions can work with a margin that allows the employment of as many people as possible. Actors, dancers and musicians on the stage; and off it production managers, stage crew, sound and lighting designers and operators. Likewise, front of house staff and of course, the venue owners. There are countless related workplaces with which we are inter-dependent, and all of them need us to be working as hard, and as soon as possible. The money raised to kick-start this project could be used to provide employment for up to fifty people in the arts sector.”

The arts are important for the collective well-being of the community. Together we can discover new ways of doing this as well as have the opportunity to enrich each other by providing what we need to uplift our hearts and bring us joy through the pure enjoyment of cultural stimulus as well as providing work for people in that industry. Pledging money to back this project and reach our goal amount will allow us to reach the first phase of creative development.

RONDOLINO - a Renaissance musical comedy

Set in 1630 when pandemics were really popular, this musical will be Black Adder meets Fawlty Towers meets Goodfellas meets Dangerous Liaisons. And that’s not the half of it.  You will not only love it but be part of bringing it to life for the rest of the community to be part of.

Rondo: A music form often used as a dance. Mostly four movements that recur in variations. This is a little one.

Galileo Galilei, renowned scientist and astronomer, is found guilty of heresy by the Inquisition of the Holy Roman Church, for declaring that the Earth moves around the sun, and not the other way. Enter: the flamboyant Ferdinando the Second de’ Medici, current head of the known-world’s wealthiest family, who is also Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Ferdinando saves Galileo from life imprisonment and torture, by volunteering to place him in home detention instead. One of the many Medici country villas outside Florence is to be Galileo’s ‘home’. The inquisitor, well aware of the Medici’s power (including strong connections to the Vatican), agrees to the deal.

As fate would have it, the next day sees the outbreak of the Great Italian Plague of the 1630’s, which is a return of the medieval ‘Black Death’. All residents of the village of Petraia, with no exception for the duke and his venerable guest, are to be barricaded inside their homes for the foreseeable future. Anyone found venturing outside will be killed by the patrolling militia, and their body incinerated.

This much, with a ‘shift’ or two, is history. What takes place inside the Villa Di Petraia is, well…… not. Ferdinando is an entertainingly profane and outrageously forthright character. Galileo is a pure and dedicated academic. There are two unusual house servants, Colombina and Pietro, both appealing in their own quirky ways, and extremely independent. ‘RONDOLINO’ shows, with a variety of musical and comedic episodes, what develops when these four disparate and large personalities are forced to co-habit in quarantine for far longer than any of them would prefer.
  • Julia Marr 
    • $20 
    • 14 mos
  • Sharyne Railton 
    • $34 
    • 22 mos
  • Sylvia Hrovatin 
    • $1,000 
    • 23 mos
  • Agi Szollos 
    • $50 
    • 23 mos
  • Suzy Russ 
    • $100 
    • 23 mos
See all


John Waters 
Macquarie Pass NSW