'The Costumes, the Scenery, the Make-up, the Props' - Impresario John Frost, Part 1

STAGES with Peter Eyers show

Summary: Known affectionately as Frosty the Showman; impresario John Frost has been at the pinnacle of Musical Theatre in Australia for several decades. The Gordon Frost Organisation contributes much of the commercial product that traverses stages around the country. His productions have garnered a swag of local awards as well as two Tony Awards for musicals on the Broadway stage. Frost grew up in Adelaide and harboured dreams of a showbiz life. He'd stage backyard entertainments with his doting Aunt Mary playing Eliza to his Henry Higgins. He's been stage-struck ever since. It was a childhood influenced by a regular diet of television and Hollywood movies. A dalliance with amateur theatre in his teens provided him with the realisation that he was suited more to backstage. He left school at 15 and began his career as a dresser on the J.C. Williamson's production of Mame. Frost had found what he wanted to do and the young apprentice garnered enormous knowledge working his way through a succession of roles - Wardrobe Master, Office Assistant to Kenn Brodziak, Stage Manager, Company Manager and Actors Agent - each experience informing his prized accomplishment as Producer. In 1983 John Frost co-founded the Gordon Frost Organisation with Ashley Gordon. They took a lease on the University of Sydney's Footbridge Theatre and presented a succession of shows that would demonstrate to the pair the precarious nature of 'the business'. Shows emanating from The Footbridge included Women Behind Bars (starring June Bronhill), 'Night Mother (starring Jill Perryman and June Salter), Agnes of God and a 'just sensational ' production of Jerry's Girls. It's a riveting story and John speaks frankly and with great wit, about his journey and what is involved in being Frosty the Showman; producing commercial product, increasing the profile of musical theatre and delivering a magical experience to audiences.