Foxtel announced the eight-part series today, describing Upright as “a sharp-tongued and touching drama”.
It will see Minchin playing a character named Lucky Flynn – “a gifted pianist, whose talent for music is matched only by his talent for self-destruction”. Learning that his mother has only days to live, Lucky sets off to drive from Sydney to Perth to say goodbye, taking his upright piano with him. He runs into “tough-as-nails teenager” Meg (played by Milly Alcock) while driving across the Nullabor.
Minchin is co-writing the series with The Chaser‘s Chris Taylor, along with actor-writers Kate Mulvany and Leon Ford. He is also writing the music and is co-executive producer.
“From the moment I heard about the idea for Upright, I knew it was the show I’d been waiting to make,” Minchin said in a statement.
“I like stories that make me laugh and think and cry, I adore the landscapes of outback Australia, and I love music, and homecomings, and characters full of flaws.”
Production will begin in South Australia and WA in October, with the SA Film Corporation among the series’ investors.
SAFC chief executive Courtney Gibson said the Upright would bring together “an extraordinary combination of creative talents”, with the state’s “stunning locations” providing the perfect setting for the production.
Minchin’s extensive list of writing and acting credits range from the stage adaptations of Groundhog Day and Roald Dahl’s Matilda (for which he wrote the music and lyrics) to roles in the Australian TV series Squinters, The Secret River and No Activity. He also plays Friar Tuck in the new series Robin Hood: Origins, which is set for release in November this year.
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