IN MAY this year the ‘Weekly brought you the story of former Mildura man, Ross Chisari, who was playing a leading role in Shrek The Musical until COVID struck and the show had to close only weeks into its Melbourne season at Her Majesty’s Theatre.
Ross who has been in Mildura recently said he had just received some good news from the show’s producers who have asked the cast to commence rehearsals in Brisbane before Christmas with the show set to re-open at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre on January 10.
“The cast from Shrek got a call from the company seeing if the cast was still around and potentially available,” Ross said.
“At that stage they weren’t sure if they were going to re-stage the production, they were more testing the waters and then on Monday last week, it was suddenly all happening and we were all going to be off to Brisbane – “pack your bags you’re going back to work”.
“I picked up the phone and it was the producer who said ‘What are you doing in three weeks? We commence rehearsals of December,17 and the show is opening on January 10 at the QPAC, and we’re playing there for just on a month until February 7.'”
Ross said that production will then be going to another city, the location still to be confirmed.
“The big news is that Shrek is going to be the first musical in Australia to be playing to 100 per cent audience capacity,” Ross said.
“It will bring a feeling of normality back as the entire cast takes to the stage in front of a full audience – it’s going to be like nothing happened.
“It’s already brought a good taste of normality. I think there will be some interesting obstacles during rehearsals because we will have to have masks on and so I don’t know how singing with a mask on is going to go.
Reflecting on the last nine months Ross said it hadn’t been easy, but he had made the most of the down time.
“Like all of my fellow artists, I went on to the government support for the first time in my life and was a lifesaver – just enough to make ends meet really. I took advantage of the downtime and up-skilled in other areas. I did a small business course and I opened up my own graphic and website design business.”