NICK HIGGINBOTHAM, BOOK & LIBRETTO
Nick has been an academic at the University of Newcastle since 1987 with a career-long interest in culture and psychology and all things Hawaiian. The successful rock opera Shining Isle with Gareth was his first musical, drawing together heroic figures from Navajo, Hawaiian and Aboriginal Australian legends to animate an ancient struggle against evil, set in modern times. Nick also penned a light-hearted romp through the zany world of Gilbert and Sullivan aficionados—Mermaids of Mull or The Lost McAdo—for which Gareth wrote original hip hop music (Newcastle Gilbert & Sullivan, Civic Playhouse, October, 2010).
Even before Shining Isle was staged (Newcastle Civic Playhouse, October 2006), Nick became immersed in writings on the Pacific encounters of James Cook. Of greatest interest were the moments of ‘first contact’ between people of Pacific Island cultures and the British navigator. These moments, when two realities hit head on, often brought dramatic consequences that are still being felt.
Creating Between Worlds has allowed Nick to work closely, and over extended periods, with accomplished writers Linden Wilkinson and Nick Parsons, native Hawaiian cultural expert, Kahi Wight, and gifted director and dramaturg Jason Langley.
Nick has an ongoing collaboration with Indigenous musicians, contributing two tracks each to Buddy Knox’s 2010 release (Buddy’s Blues) and Auriel Andrew’s 2013 album (Ghost Gums). One track Nick co-wrote-- Buddy's Got The Blues Again--won best male vocal at the 2011 Australian Blues Music Awards. Nick is co-writing six songs for Buddy’s next album to be released in 2017. He also penned Auriel’s signature tune for the Buried Country tour, Ghost Gums, reflecting childhood images of loved ones who are gone.