Peter Brocklehurst appeared in Brave Men Run In Our Family in September 2007. The story of his life featured narration by Kerry Armstrong with Peter singing many of the songs that have made him a household name across Australia.
HMT: Brave Men Run In Our Family is your life story on stage. Where did this project start and how did you become involved in it?
Peter Brocklehurst: At the start of my career, I thought it’d be great to tell my life story in a musical, in a movie and in albums. Well, I have an album and I fended off the movies for a while. But I was talking with a promoter, Glynn Nicholas, who put me in touch with Scott Rankin, who we commissioned to write and direct the show. Then I left show business for about two years and everything got put on hold. Now that I’ve started working again, I decided to start my comeback with this show, my life story, instead of releasing a record.
HMT: Is it a strange feeling having your life story so openly displayed to the public?
PB: Yes! I’ve definitely never got used to it, which is weird because it’s my life story that has been a catalyst for my career and everything. I’ve had dinner with Pavarotti, played the Sydney Opera House, and yet I still get asked about ‘the abduction’ – it keeps coming back to bug me like gastric reflux. The show has a small element of the abduction, to fend off the persistent questions! Here’s a teaser for the show: “19 September”.
HMT: You were a cobbler for 20 years before performing on the world stages as a classical singer. How were you ‘discovered’?
PB: I was discovered in a shoe repair shop – I was talking to a guy called Glenn Nicholson, and over the course of about six weeks I told him my life story. He then introduced me to his brother-in-law, Nick Columb, who asked for my life story in 45 minutes. So we went out, and at the end he asked, “So can you sing as well as you can spin a yarn?” Those words changed my life. At the time, neither Nick nor Glenn had heard me sing, and yet they spent copious amounts of money and time on a voice that they didn’t even know existed. Anyway, I started from there, spent 12 months preparing, and my first album debuted at Number 1.
HMT: You sing on stage with Kerry Armstrong narrating. What is it like to work with her?
PB: It’s a life changing experience, and a spiritual experience to get to know and work with that lady – that’s really all I can say.
HMT: Most shows leave the audience with a ‘take home’ message. What do you think is the take home message from Brave Men?
PB: No matter how bad it gets, no matter how many obstacles are in your path, there is always a way out, a way up the hill. Nothing is not-get-overable. You see, the word “past” is about as tangible as the past gets. It’s all over. The only thing that makes it material is our brain. You should never look back unless you can gain from it in the future. Otherwise it’s all the mind, the brain, the head. In a nutshell, what is the point of bringing the past to the present day, when every day you’re walking forward in a positive way. To have this life and this show is amazing, but to have a show like this premiered at The Maj – it couldn’t have been at a better theatre in Melbourne. Incidentally, the first live show I ever went to was at Her Majesty’s Theatre – it was Certified Male. Walking back into the theatre with my own show is really quite funky.September 2007