“ Marty Rhone is no stranger to Port Macquarie . Marty returns with his show Cliff Joins the Beatles, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Beatles. ”
You have been to Port Macquarie a few times before. Are you excited to be returning to the region?
I certainly am. Port Macquarie is one on my favourite places; it’s a beautiful part of the world, and I can understand why a lot of people go up there to relocate – especially to get out of the frantic atmosphere and traffic of Sydney.
You’ve performed a couple of times before in the region. Are you excited about having those people return to see you in this show?
I’m very excited about this show, and I know that’s a cliché, but I’ve never done a show like this before. It is one that I’m thoroughly enjoying throughout this very long tour. But when you are loving what you are doing, the length of the tour doesn’t matter, because the audiences seem to be sharing our joy – which is terrific.
For those who haven’t seen you before, tell us about yourself as a performer?
My career started way back in the sixties. I’ve been a professional performer for, I think, now six decades. The last three years I’ve been working both as an actor and as singer. I’ve featured in a number of independent films; one was an independent Canadian/Australian production called Nude Study, where there was a little nudity but all very tasteful, and I did another feature film called City of the Damned, which I shot in Melbourne.
I’ve recently secured representation by an international acting agency that has offices here in Australia and Los Angeles. I’m planning to go over to LA in November to check it all out – nothing ventured, nothing gained they say. And from a singing perspective, I’ve been touring for the past five years.
This will be my fifth national tour and definitely my longest. The previous longest tour was only 14 dates; this one is more than double that, at 29.
The show Cliff Joins the Beatles is getting rave reviews so far. What is making this particular Beatles show so amazing?
Well, I actually devised and wrote it. This year is the 50th anniversary of the coming together of John, Paul, George and Ringo, and the Harbour Agency, which is the largest booking agency in Australia, asked me if I would be interested in creating a show around that scenario.
It’s based on part fact and part fantasy, unlike previous Beatles shows, where bands come out in suits with fur collars in the first half and badly fitting Sergeant Pepper outfits in the second. I wanted to do something very different.
So I zeroed in on the last few months of the Beatles, their sort of break-up, if you like and created a music fantasy based around the fact that both Cliff Richard and the Beatles shared Happy Road Studios as recording artists.
It’s during the period when the Beatles were rehearsing what was to be a ‘get back live’ album and concert, which never eventuated, and the reason it never eventuated was the band couldn’t agree on anything. So I’ve created this fictional scenario where Paul bumps into Cliff Richard and says, “Cliff, will you come down to the studio and sing a few songs with us to try and break the ice … ease the tension in the studio”.
You play the lead as Cliff Richard, is that correct? And how has that experience been?
Yes, that’s right. I really had to fine tune my accent and my Cliff Richard mannerisms. At other times when I’ve gone out as Cliff, I was just doing the music, where as this time it’s more about Cliff’s character as well.
How far and wide are you touring?
We are going to every corner of the country, with the only exception being the Northern Territory.