With the curtain going up at The Drum in Dandenong this Friday (June 11th), Liam and Sharon are reflecting on this wonderful opportunity to showcase their talents.

Liam is the more seasoned of the pair, having a Bachelor in Musical Theatre from the University of Ballarat. While studying, he performed in several on-campus productions, such as theatrical staples Kiss Me Kate, Godspell and West Side Story before graduating to the main role of ‘Billy Crocker’ in Anything Goes.

Since graduating, Liam has appeared in Damn Yankees by the acclaimed group The Production Company- with their whirlwind two week rehearsal period. He also appeared in various other projects in Melbourne’s Southeast, most recently in High School Musical with Whitehorse. This is not Liam’s first season of Miss Saigon, having appeared in CLOC’s production last year. While Liam has “done many shows and played many characters” he says, “but it is no big secret that ‘Chris Scott’ in Miss Saigon was always my dream role.”

Liam is currently performing a juggle many of us know too well- managing life as a moonlighting thespian whilst working and completing a degree. Liam is studying to become a teacher, putting his abilities and talents to good use – molding the next generation of performers. Liam’s guidance has been beneficial to his co-star, Sharon, who has found working with older and more experienced cast members means she can “watch and be constantly learning from them”.

Sharon has always coveted the role of Kim and says she was “just waiting until I was old enough to finally audition”. Sharon had appeared previously in Windmill’s Les Miserables in June last year. Les Mis was her first appearance in a musical outside of high school where she had appeared most recently in a production the Neil Gooding musical ‘Back to the 80’s’.

A private source tells me that her audition for Les Miserables last year completely floored the audition panel. Sharon is rumoured to possess a voice that is powerful beyond her years. However, she maintains a youthful optimism and a fresh attitude toward performing, exclaiming, “The Show opens next week and I’m pumped! It’s going to be amazing!” It is truly wonderful to see a theatre company supporting and nurturing new talent in this way, it is also commendable that Sharon is able to handle a major role in a musical along with her school work.

The greatest challenge these two actors have faced is that Liam is playing against a romantic lead that is only sixteen years old. I can certainly understand his apprehension; however he claims “she was more professional than I was about the issue”.

Liam and Sharon are lucky to be performing with an excellent supporting cast. They will share the stage with Peter Jenkins as ‘John’ and Stan Peters as ‘Thuy’. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing Stan perform – he possesses one of the sweetest tenor voices I have ever heard and is a perfect choice for this role. Matt Hillman features as ‘The Engineer’, further solidifying his status in the theatre scene as a reliable character actor with a penchant for the slightly sinister, an ability that belies his personality.

The ensemble in this production is a list of names I would consider a dream-chorus. Many performers who may be used to taking a leading role have admirably signed on to create an ensemble that I feel may indeed raise the roof of The Drum with the power of their combined talent.

The production team of Sue Salvato (Director), Andrew Houston (Musical Director) and Karen Ingwerson (Choreographer) are certain to stage a production that will once again raise the bar that Windmill have set for themselves. With acclaimed set designer Alberto Salvato on board, along with veteran costumer Glenda Novotny and Jason Bovaird’s lighting, this production is a recipe for an aesthetic and auditory delight for audiences.

Best wishes to Windmill for their final rehearsals; be sure to book your tickets through The Drum booking office on 9771 6666 as this show will certainly sell out.