Classic rock drama ‘Rolling Thunder Vietnam’ returns to Melbourne’s stage in 2023

Subscribe to Forte Magazine


Classic rock drama ‘Rolling Thunder Vietnam’ returns to Melbourne’s stage in 2023

A war drama with a classic rock soundtrack, 'Rolling Thunder Vietnam' has announced dates for its 2023 return.

The rock drama Rolling Thunder Vietnam makes its return to the stage in 2023 for its most extensive national tour to date.

The show last toured in 2016 and will return across April, May and June 2023. The tour plays Gold Coast, Brisbane, Toowoomba, Caloundra, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong, Perth, Adelaide, Frankston and Melbourne. At the production’s heart is a love story of courage, longing and resilience. Tom Oliver (Velvet, The Marcia Hines Band) reprises the role of country boy Johnny.

The key takeaways 

  • Rolling Thunder Vietnam combines war drama with classic rock
  • Frankston Arts Centre: Thursday 8 June – 7.30pm
  • Palais Theatre: Saturday 10 June – 7.30pm

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around the region here

Rolling Thunder Vietnam combines great rock classics of the ‘60s and ‘70s, video footage across four screens, and heartfelt storytelling inspired by interviews with Vietnam War veterans and actual letters.

Making its world premiere at QPAC in Brisbane in 2014, in 2023 Rolling Thunder Vietnam will be supporting Soldier On, a not-for-profit organisation providing integrated and holistic support services to Australia’s Defence personnel, contemporary veterans and their families.

Producer Rebecca Blake said: “The show has earned rave reviews as ‘an electrifying tour de force’ that ‘reaches deep into the soul’. It connects to a broad audience, not only because of its brilliant songs but because it has so much humanity and heart. The Vietnam Vets have embraced the show since the beginning, many of them our biggest fans. We look forward to partnering with Soldier On and also introducing the show to a younger audience. It’s wonderful to be bringing the show back to the stage after the impact of Covid-19 caused the sudden cancellation of our 2020 tour. We are thrilled to again showcase some of the world’s best musicians, alongside a cast of young new talents for audiences to discover.”

Dr Brendan Nelson, the former director of the Australian War Memorial, is patron of the 2023 tour. “The show is magnificent. A story of courage, endurance and love. If you see one show this year, this is the one to experience; you will be entertained, inspired, you will cry, but you will definitely want to see it again and again.”

The uplifting production features enduring and unforgettable rock songs, including classics by Steppenwolf, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker, The Rolling Stones, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Gladys Knight, Billy Thorpe and Paul Simon. The era of the Vietnam War – the world’s first televised war – produced many of the most strident and lyrical songs of the 20th century.

Tickets and more information available here.