Keating Banned then Unbanned.
Keating! The Musical makes its Tasmanian Premiere this week – but all the action has been off stage.
The Theatre Company producing the show, The Old Nick Company, claimed it was black banned by the ABC.
The row erupted when Tasmanian senators Eric Abetz and David Bushby told a Senate Estimates hearing that Keating! The Musical was a fundraiser for state Workplace Relations Minister Lisa Singh in the lead-up to the state election.
Graham Paine from the Old Nick was fuming.
“I won’t mince words here. I’m pissed off. And this is not some publicity stunt to promote the show. I really wish we and the ABC had been left to do what we normally do,” he thundered.
“Because of some ill-informed, incorrect allegations by two Tasmanian senators while under parliamentary privilege at a senate estimates committee meeting, our current production, Keating!, will now not be mentioned on the ABC,” he said.
“We will not get the normal coverage that local theatre productions get, “ he said.
Stage Whispers confirmed with one ABC broadcaster that indeed instructions were given not to mention the show.
However the ABC said this was only a short term issue.
"There is no ban on the production," ABC Tasmania's local radio and online manager Cath Hurley told the Hobart Mercury.
"What happened is one program decided not to cover it while the Senate estimates inquiry was being investigated,” she said.
The Crickey newsletter stated that indeed one Labor candidate did buy a large batch of tickets as a fundraiser.
However the Old Nick Company said that anyone is allowed to buy tickets.
The tactic of raising this issue helped generate extra publicity for the Old Nick and in the end the ABC backed down.
Keating! The Musical has been unbanned.
“Thanks to the ABC for taking the high ground and now allowing Keating! to be mentioned on local radio,“ Graham Paine said.
“Scott Farrow (playing Keating and pictured here) will be on ABC Local Radio 936 (Monday, 1st March) at 2:30 talking to Michael Veitch! Excellent result, “ he said.
Stage Whispers will be attending the Tasmanian Premiere of Keating! The Musical on March 3.