It's a jolly interview with you, Bert

— 13th March 2014 —

Last week, I was delighted to swing by Melbourne Theatre Company to interview actor/singer Bert LaBonte for Aussie Theatre. If you haven't yet heard of Bert, you will. He's everywhere. Films, musicals, plays. It seems the industry can't get enough of him. After meeting him, I can tell why.

Bert LaBonte would have to be one of the most down-to-earth actors out there. Most in demand. Most relaxed. Ironic? Well, maybe that’s just it. For now, at least, he doesn’t have to worry about work. He’s had a steady stream of it for the last eight years. In fact, he found himself needing to take extended time off at the start of this year in order to recharge. An actor out of work by choice? What a revelation.

As I sit in Melbourne Theatre Company’s cafeteria waiting to meet Bert LaBonte, I glance around the room to see actors heating their lunch in the microwave, programming staff chatting at tables, and Robyn Nevin taking a moment out of rehearsal to check her phone.

When LaBonte arrives, he’s casually dressed and completely at ease. Perhaps it’s his Dandenong upbringing? Perhaps it’s the fact that he studied acting at a regional university? Or maybe it’s the daily commute from Geelong listening to sports radio? Whatever it is, Bert’s the man...

Read the full Aussie Theatre article here.

Once upon a time...

— 10th March 2014 —

At the launch of Once last week, the invited audience were ushered onto the stage of the Princess Theatre to drink and be merry. We were. It's not often that one gets a chance to see what a stunning old theatre looks like from centre stage.

Hosted by Todd McKenney, the launch also featured a surprise performance by original Once leading man, actor and musician Glen Hansard. As he strummed his old guitar and hit his boot against the stage, belting out one of his tracks made famous by the indie Irish film, we were given an insight into the heart of this beautiful story.

It was a highlight to meet Glen after the formalities. We chatted about independent films, storytelling and his involvement in the stage version of the show. One of my favourite moments was when Glen said, "I didn't like the idea of turning the film into a musical theatre show. Bono was the one who convinced me to get on board". After accusing him of major name-dropping, he laughed and said, "Oh, come on! Dublin is a small town!"

I also had a quick chat with big-time producer John Frost to find out more about Once - the unique show that has been smashing box office records on Broadway and the West End.

Once will open in Melbourne in September this year. Tickets on sale 17 March (St Patrick's Day). Casting to be announced in the coming weeks.

Read the full Aussie Theatre article here.

Reception: The Musical - Melbourne Season Confirmed

— 5th March 2014 —

Get your post-it notes ready, Melbourne! Reception: The Musical is just around the corner...

Tue 29 April - Sun 4 May, 2014
The Butterfly Club (Carson Place, off Little Collins St, Melbourne)
Tue, Wed, Sun @ 8pm / Thur, Fri, Sat @ 9pm
Full $25 | Conc $22
Book tickets here

Featuring a toe-tapping original score, Reception: The Musical tells the tale of a chirpy receptionist who finds joy in the manic world of customer service, stationery orders and thinking on your swivel chair.

An uplifting and hilarious celebration of all things office related, Reception: The Musical is a must-see for office workers and theatre lovers everywhere.

Watch a sneak peek video of Reception: The Musical here. Feel free to sing along!