X-Files: The Musical – An Out-Of-This-World Australian Premiere In Brisbane

'X-Files: The Musical'
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

'X-Files: The Musical' will add a comedic twist to the acclaimed science-fiction series.

Airing for the first time in September of 1993, 'The X-Files' ran for nine seasons up until 2002; airing over 200 episodes. It's revival for a 10th season in 2016 and subsequent 11th season at the start of this year, made 'The X-Files' the longest-running science fiction series in U.S. television history.

The show follows the lives of FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, who work on unsolved cases pertaining to paranormal phenomena. Inspired by earlier shows like 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents', 'The Twilight Zone' and 'Night Gallery', 'The X-Files' features elements of suspense and speculative fiction. While sceptic Scully tries to debunk Mulder's paranormal work, the two discover a secret government agenda, which causes them to become closer and less trusting of those around them.

In this Australian premiere production, Mulder and Scully stumble upon a half-human half-animal hybrid, who Mulder is convinced is his long-lost sister. Songs with titles like 'Oh No! There's Something out There', will add a new touch to the classic sci-fi story.

To find out more about 'X-Files: The Musical' we talked to lead actor Willem Whitfield, who plays Mulder.

The X-Files is one of the longest-running science fiction series in network TV history, were you a fan of the show before you became involved in this production?
I was a big fan of the show ever since I first saw it at University. I had to watch the first season for an assignment, and I didn’t stop watching.

Do you have a favourite episode?
There are so many memorable ones that it’s hard to choose. One of the best has to be 'Field Trip' from Season 6. Mulder and Scully are working on a case and slowly realise that they’re actually asleep and being digested by alien mushrooms. So many plot twists in that one!

This production is part of Brisbane Arts Theatre's parody season, have you taken part in other parodies or musicals previously?
I’ve only been in 'A Clockwork Orange' with Brisbane Arts Theatre before. However, I have directed and acted in a show called 'B Movies Live!' for the 2016 Anywhere Festival. Where we gave the actors a bad B Movie script and they had to act it out as best as they can, improvising things along the way.

How do you think 'The X-Files' has been parodied in this production? What elements of the story have been adapted or exaggerated?
This production is really focused on lampooning the characters. The Mulder written in our script is much more unstable than the one in the show. He’s insanely paranoid, thinks aliens are around every corner and focused on uncovering every conspiracy he comes across.

Do you see any similarities between you and the character of Mulder from The X-Files TV show?
I always thought he was much cooler than me! I was really interested in the paranormal as a child, and I still find it fascinating. Don’t forget though, Mulder is an FBI Agent – I’m just a bartender. He’s fitter, smarter and probably more charismatic than me.

How have you adapted Mulder's character in order for him to fit in to this parody musical?
He’s very soft spoken and suave in the original show, which doesn’t translate well to stage. On stage we need to be loud and bombastic, so I’ve emphasised all of the louder parts of his character. His paranoia, obsession and cockiness are easier to make fun of than his charm.

What did you do to prepare for this role? Did you watch a lot of 'The X-Files'?
I’m currently watching season 11. I did discover David Duchovny’s dad-rock albums, which helped me to capture what Mulder’s singing voice might sound like.

What can audiences expect in terms of costume and set design in this production, as The X-Files is from the science fiction genre?
This show is not meant to be taken seriously and so we’re using cardboard cutouts and the goofiest costumes available to create our characters. One of the major monsters in our show is made out of a sleeping bag!

In this production 'The X-Files' is made into a musical. What other (serious/drama) film or TV show would you most want to be turned into a musical?
I would love to see 'Twin Peaks' turned into a musical. It’s already such a colourful and dreamy show, adding music would only feel natural.

Do you think that it is important for theatre to explore comedy in order to remind audiences to not take things too seriously?
I think all things in life have elements of comedy and drama. It’s good to have a balance of both in all things. 'X-Files: The Musical' has some very sad and serious moments that help balance the screwball comedy elements.

'X-Files: The Musical' plays Brisbane Arts Theatre from 15 April-4 June.

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