Skip to main content
The Theatre Thoughts Podcast

The Theatre Thoughts Podcast

By Justin Clarke
The Theatre Thoughts Podcast is our accompaniment podcast to the Theatre Thoughts website and social media platforms where you can hear exclusive interviews with industry professionals about upcoming theatre productions, as well as round table discussions about all things theatre and live entertainment.

We'll share with you our own theatre reviews and dive into the theatre community at large. We will also have some hot giveaways along the journey that are only available by listening to the podcast!

Follow us on our socials @theatrethoughtsaus or on our website
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Spotify Logo


Stitcher Logo


One on one with the cast of Jagged Little Pill the Musical ft. AYDAN, Liam Head and Grace Miell
Please note: this episode contains adult themes and discussions of sexual violence. On this special episode of the podcast we chat with not one, not two, but three of the cast members of JAGGED LITTLE PILL THE MUSICAL which concludes its Australian Tour at the Sydney Theatre Royal on the 14th August. I'm joined by performers AYDAN, Liam Head and Grace Miell who play Phoenix, Nick Healy and Bella respectively. We chat about why Jagged Little Pill is an important musical for our contemporary society, as well as what their favourite moments are from the production itself, including some behind the scenes stories that audiences would never see. AYDAN, Liam and Grace share hilarious backstage shenanigans, near on stage mishaps and what cast are thinking during some of the most intense moments in the production. Don't forget to follow us on our socials on Instagram @theatrethoughtsaus and subscribe to our Youtube Channel to view behind the scenes content of our episodes. You can also find out more about these three amazing performers by heading to our dedicated podcast website through following the links here. BOOK TICKETS TO THE FINAL WEEK OF JAGGED LITTLE PILL THE MUSICAL HERE. JAGGED LITTLE PILL tells the story of the Healys, the perfectly imperfect family. To the outside world, they are the suburban ideal – a PTA mum who is always cheering on her kids, a busy lawyer dad providing the best for his family, a high achieving son who's just made valedictorian, and the artistic adopted daughter fighting for change in small-town Connecticut. But nothing is as it seems. About AYDAN: Singer Songwriter AYDAN has left his teenage years behind after growing up on Australian TV. AYDAN’s impressive performances on ‘The Voice’ 2018 had coaches marvelling, cementing him as an up and coming talent in the Australian Music Scene. Join AYDAN on his journey with Jagged Little Pill and his new song releases on Instagram @aydan_music and Facebook About Liam: Plucked from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University’s Bachelor of Musical Theatre course at 19 years of age, Liam is thrilled to be making his professional debut in GWB Entertainment’s Australian premiere of Jagged Little Pill. During his studies, Liam was privileged to perform many roles; most memorably Professor Callahan in Legally Blonde the Musical, Army Officer in Les Misérables and Kenickie in Grease. About Grace: Hailing from Brisbane, Grace began training in performing arts from the early age of 5 at Kidz-n-co Talent Musical Theatre School. When she was 16 years old she travelled with her Theatre School to dance and sing at Disney World (Orlando USA) and then performed on the cruise ship Enchantment of The Seas throughout the USA. Grace’s stage experience includes The Wild Blue by Anthony Crowley (Federation University) performing for the Starlight Children’s Foundation as a singer soloist. Timings: 05:05 - Let's Talk About Jagged 07:45 - Who do you play in the show? 15:34 - Behind the scenes stories 21:56 - You Outta Know and the Standing Ovations 27:44 - Is there a part in the show you love? RESOURCES 1800RESPECT provides information, referrals and counselling. Visite the website at for information on different forms of violence and abuse, how to support someone and how to get access to support. 1800 737 732
August 07, 2022
What is the role of a Swing? Chiara Assetta chats the swings of SIX, featuring co-host Zoe Rose
On the latest episode of the Theatre Thoughts Podcast we're joined by co-host Zoe Rose to chat with Chiara Assetta who is currently saving the day as one of the talented swings of SIX the Musical. Chiara sits down with us to chat about her history in theatre, from her early days of auditions through to her contract at Universal Studios in Japan, through to now being the Dance Captain and part of the three swings in SIX. Chiara takes us through the ins and outs of what a swing does and how they are saving the day time and again through this COVID times. Hear some behind the scenes stories of the chaotic and exhilerating nature of a swing in theatre and what the role means for her. Zoe Rose is currently directing The Taming of the Shrew for the Dire Theatre Company. They are a talented singer, and performer who has appeared in shows such as The Producers, Catch Me If You Can, The Addams Family and Next to Normal.  Don't forget to follow us on our socials on Instagram @theatrethoughtsaus and subscribe to our Youtube Channel to view behind the scenes content of our episodes. Find all our link here. EPISODE TIMINGS Pre-show chat with Zoe Rose: 1:53 Main Chat with Chiara Assetta: 11:57 What is a Swing? 18.49 Is it more exciting to be a Swing? 30:10 Jumping on halfway: 32:37 Chiara Assetta Bio Chiara Assetta (she/her) trained at Glenda Yee School of Dance and went on to graduate from ED5 International with a Diploma in Performing Arts. Chiara’s professional credits include the role of Teresita in Handa Opera Australia’s West Side Story on Sydney Harbour and Siblingship, the cabaret she co-created and performed in alongside her brother Daniel. She has also played Brian in Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman’s Good Omens (Squabbalogic), the Bride of Frankenstein, Hip and Hop in Universal Monsters Live (Universal Studios Japan) and a Frog Choir vocalist in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Universal Studios Japan). Chiara originated the choreography for the Australian production of The Dismissal. The Broadway World Australia Awards also named Siblingship, which Chiara co-created and choreographed, Best Cabaret in 2020. On screen, Chiara’s credits include Dance Academy and So You Think You Can Dance Australia as well as campaigns for brands such as Lynx. As a vocalist, she has performed the national anthem for the opening of Bankwest Stadium and backing vocals for Delta Goodrem on The Voice and The Footy Show. Book tickets to SIX the Musical here. Zoe Rose & Taming of the Shrew Zoe Rose (they/them) takes the wheel with this modern interpretation of one of The Bard's more controversial comedies! Set in the 1970's but retaining it's original text, this production comprised of a creative team that is entirely female identifying, non binary, and gender non conforming. SHEkespeare's first full scale production since the pandemic turned off the stage lights, and our first production in our very own premises The Forge! Book tickets here. Find their Facebook page here.
July 24, 2022
Indigenous Perspectives with Palawa Playwright, Dylan Van Den Berg
On today's episode we sit down with Palawa playwright, Dylan Van Den Berg, to discuss his new play Whitefella Yella Tree. Dylan takes us through his process of writing as a playwright, what it's important that we share our own stories and how significant Indigenous voices can be in the Australian theatre scene. We explore what paths artists take when becoming a playwright and also explore what audiences can expect from this new production from the Griffin Theatre. Tickets to Whitefella Yella Tree can be booked via or by following this link. Don't forget you can listen to and watch our podcast episodes on our Youtube Channel! Be sure to subscribe to our podcast to get all of this month's juicy new episodes! TO KEEP UP WITH ALL THE LATEST REVIEWS, NEWS AND EXCLUSIVES, SIGN UP TO OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER NOW. FOLLOW THE LINK HERE or by heading to our website About Dylan Van Den Berg Dylan Van Den Berg is a Palawa writer from the northeast of Tasmania. For his play Milk (The Street Theatre), Dylan received the 2021 Nick Enright Prize for Playwriting at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. In 2020, his gothic revenge drama Way Back When won both the Griffin Award and the Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award, and was developed through Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s ‘Next in Line’ program. Other work includes Whitefella Yella Tree (MTC Cybec Electric), The Camel (Melbourne Fringe) and Blue: A Misery Play (The Street Theatre). Dylan is a current participant in ILBIJERRI Theatre Company’s BlackWrights program, and studied drama at the ANU and the State University of New York. About Whitefella Yella Tree Once in a blue moon, in the middle of nowhere, two teenage boys meet under a lemon tree. After a rough start, a fragile friendship fruits into a heady romance. Ty and Neddy fall madly in love, as teenagers are wont to do. If history would just unfurl a little differently, the boys might have a beautiful future ahead of them. But without knowing it, Ty and Neddy are poised on the brink of a world that is about to change forever. It’s the early 19th century. Ty is River Mob. Neddy is Mountain Mob. And the earth they stand together on is about to be declared ‘Australia’.
July 17, 2022
FANGIRLS Deep Dive with Yve Blake! Co-Hosted by Charlotte Smee
WELCOME TO OUR 20TH PODCAST EPISODE AND IT JUST SO HAPPENS TO BE OUR FANGIRLS DEEP DIVE! On today's episode, we sit down with the writer and creator of the smash-hit musical Fangirls, Yve Blake! We're also joined by Theatre Thoughts editor, Charlotte Smee, as part of our new co-hosting structure of the podcast. Throughout this episode, Yve takes us through the beginnings of Fangirls, from its inception, through to her debuting the role of Edna, before passing it onto Karis Oka and now, Manali Datar who performs the role at the Sydney Opera House this July. Yve discusses why you don't need to know how to play an instrument to write a musical, the top tips for new artists out there, as well as who we should look out for in the up and coming Australian Theatre scene. Tickets to Fangirls can be booked via or by following this link. Don't forget you can listen to and watch our podcast episodes on our Youtube Channel! Be sure to subscribe to our podcast to get all of this month's juicy new episodes! TO KEEP UP WITH ALL THE LATEST REVIEWS, NEWS AND EXCLUSIVES, SIGN UP TO OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER NOW. FOLLOW THE LINK HERE or by heading to our website About Yve Blake Yve Blake is an award winning playwright, screenwriter, composer and performer. She is best known for writing the Book, Music and Lyrics of FANGIRLS, a musical about the underestimated power of teenage girls. In 2019, FANGIRLS premiered in Australia to multiple five star reviews and sell-out crowds, before winning the 2019 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Mainstage Musical and the Matilda Award for Best Musical or Cabaret. Yve is also known for her TEDx Sydney Talk “Why are Fangirls Scary”, which has been promoted to an official TED talk on Yve has previously developed and presented her work at Soho Theatre, Southbank Centre, Old Vic New Voices, the National Theatre Studio and The Barbican. She is an alumni of the Royal Court Writers’ Programme, and was the inaugural recipient of the ATYP Rebel Wilson Theatre-maker scholarship. She’s also been a visiting artist at Princeton University. Her current projects include co-writing a feature film for Aquarius films, crafting a musical adaptation of a beloved children’s book, and a podcast musical about Mary Wollstonecraft. ---------- Don't forget to subscribe to our Podcast and catch all the behind the scenes features on our socials. Instagram: @theatrethoughtsaus Facebook: @Theatre Thoughts Tik Tok: @Theatre_Thoughts
July 03, 2022
What does a Revival Director do? Shane Placentino talks Madama Butterfly
This episode, we're headed back to the Opera with Shane Placentino! Shane sits down with us to discuss his role as Revival Director on Opera Australia's production of Madama Butterfly.  Shane's extensive history in dance and working behind the scenes with Opera Australia has given him a mountain of knowledge to discuss the many facets of working in a director's role. Shane talks about the incident that led him away from the world of dance, what it's like working with one of the most in-demand tenor's in the business and the random circumstances that led him into the theatre industry itself. Don't forget you can listen to and watch our podcast episodes on our Youtube Channel! Be sure to subscribe to our podcast to get all of this month's juicy new episodes! TO KEEP UP WITH ALL THE LATEST REVIEWS, NEWS AND EXCLUSIVES, SIGN UP TO OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER NOW. FOLLOW THE LINK HERE. Madama Butterfly Fluttering beauty, caught and pinned, yet beautiful still. Constrained, cocooned, caught in a moment of desire, Butterfly is incandescent. In her embrace, Pinkerton finds paradise, then cruelly condemns his bride to purgatory. Graeme Murphy’s arresting production of Madama Butterfly takes a contemporary look at Puccini’s alluring heroine using a towering digital set. Fragments of film flutter across the stage, creating a dynamic backdrop for Murphy’s vision of Butterfly. He draws on his roots in choreography to capture the grace and gravity of a story that begins in rapturous love and ends in the cruellest heartbreak. Puccini’s sublime music imbues this ageless story with impossible beauty, from the irrepressible famous aria ‘One fine day’ to the intense finale. South Korean soprano Sae Kyung Rim’s voice is in demand the world over and her Butterfly is richly nuanced. Diego Torre gives Pinkerton complexity and depth through his exemplary technique and timbre. Carlo Montanaro conducts. Tickets can be booked HERE.
June 26, 2022
SIX the Musical Deep Dive with Vidya Makan and Kala Gare
We have a Royal Episode of the Theatre Thoughts Podcast for you!  Justin sits down with two of the Queens of SIX the Musical, Vidya Makan and Kala Gare to talk all things SIX. We discuss the score written by TONY AWARD WINNERS Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss, as well as the real HERstory behind the Queens portrayed on stage. Vidya and Kala regail us with some hilarious on stage mishaps, inspire us with what makes SIX so special and so loved, and educate us about how women and performers in the entertainment industry can find their voice and inspiration through performing.   To get exclusive video footage of our chat with the Queens, be sure to sign up to the Theatre Thoughts Monthly where you will recieve links straight to your inbox. Follow the link below now.  Tickets to SIX the Musical can be bought by heading to Vidya Makan (she/her) is a critically acclaimed actor, singer and composer/lyricist and is extremely excited to be back performing as Catherine Parr in SIX. Through 2021, Vidya played KT/Meg in Merrily We Roll Along (Hayes Theatre) and Papa Ge in Once On This Island (Altitude Theatre). Vidya is currently working in collaboration with Sonya Suares on her original musical The Lucky Country, in conjunction with Hayes Theatre. Vidya is also the inaugural recipient of the NSW Musical Theatre Fellowship with Tasnim Hossain and Jonathan Ware, through which they are writing a new musical about South Asian families in suburban Australia. In 2020, Vidya directed, produced and wrote the Green Room award nominated song “I Need You To See Me”; a call to the entertainment industry for visibility and inclusion of minority voices. Vidya was nominated for Best Performance in a Leading role for her portrayal of Dot/Marie in Sunday In The Park With George (Watch This). Her other credits include Romeo and Juliet (Australian Shakespeare Company), American Idiot (shake and stir), Air Race (Arena Theatre Company), Merrily We Roll Along (Watch This) and Memphis (StageArt). Vidya is a proud graduate of Griffith University’s Queensland Conservatorium’s Bachelor of Musical Theatre and is proudly represented by Ian White Management. Kala Gare (she/her) is a talented up-and-coming performer whose work encompasses the music, musical theatre and screen industries. Kala was cast as Anne Boleyn in the Australian Premiere of SIX the Musical and is overjoyed to be reprising her role! Kala obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music Theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts where she was awarded the Lionel Gell Scholarship for Music Theatre. Her theatre credits include: Sophie De Palma in Terrence McNally’s Masterclass; Maureen in Rent; Olivia in Twelfth Night; Anastasia Steele in 50 Shades!; Alice/Ensemble in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Alice in the Steve Martin and Edie Brickell musical Bright Star. Kala is also a classically trained musician with a Diploma in Classical Piano. Her Musical Director credits include: Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! and Legally Blonde Junior and she has performed her original music to sell-out audiences in Melbourne. Most recently, Kala was involved in the creative developments of two new Australian works: Orlando the Musical and WAGs. Kala is represented by the team at Mark Gogoll Enterprises and is a proud member of MEAA.
June 13, 2022
Why is Independent Theatre so important? Featuring Carly Fisher, Sonya Kerr and Dino Dimitriadis
Joining us for an in-depth discussion on Independent Theatre are theatre makers Carly Fisher, Sonya Kerr and Dino Dimitriadis.  Content Warning - please be advised that this episode contains references to violence,prostitution, mental health and suicide. On this episode, we sit down in a special two part discussion, to focus on the many facets of Indpendent Theatre through two new productions, The Sweet Science of Bruising and Cleansed by Sarah Kane. Carly is the director and producer of The Sweet Science of Bruising, with Sonya being one of the main performers in the 20th production by Theatre Travels. London 1869. Four very different Victorian women are drawn into the dark underground world of female boxing by the eccentric Professor Sharp. Controlled by men and constrained by corsets, each finds an unexpected freedom in the boxing ring. A place where their lives, decisions, futures are in their own hands for the first time. They may each get in the ring in pursuit of the title of Lady Boxing Champion of the World but what each stands to gain from every bout far exceeds any title.  The women punch for recognition, they jab for education, they spar for a future, they fight for survival. The Sweet Science of Bruising plays at the Flight Path Theatre from 15th June to 2nd July and tickets can be booked at Dino Dimitriadis is an award-winning director and producer who is currently directing Sarah Kane's lesser performed play Cleansed. Somewhere, someplace. Six abandoned souls try to save themselves through love. But an ominous observer puts their declarations to the ultimate test. Director, Dino Dimitriadis (Angels in America, Metamorphoses, Doubt), and their team, will set the Old Fitz alight with Sarah Kane's iconic masterpiece. Uncompromising and visionary, a rarely-staged and savage portrait of the human heart. Cleansed by Sarah Kane plays at the Old Fitz from the 9th to the 25th June and tickets can be booked by searching Be sure to subscribe to our podcast to get all of this month's juicy new episodes! TO KEEP UP WITH ALL THE LATEST REVIEWS, NEWS AND EXCLUSIVES, SIGN UP TO OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER NOW. FOLLOW THE LINK HERE. Mental Health Support Services Beyond Blue Lifeline Kids Helpline Suicide Callback Service Everybody is Deadly
June 05, 2022
What is your favourite theatre memory? The Podcast Bonanza!
We have our first COLLABORATIVE podcast to treat your ears with. I reached out to the podcasting community and sought answers to the question - "What's your favourite theatre moment?" From this, we recieved answers from four brilliant podcasters, A Musical Theatre Podcast, Stage Door Podcast, Don't Be So Dramatic Podcast and The Theatre Podcast. In this episode, we're off script and speaking straight from the heart, what are our favourite theatre moments? What makes theatre special to us? You'll be able to hear all of our communities answers and follow any of the podcasters you resonate with. A MUSICAL THEATRE PODCAST On each episode of “A Musical Theatre Podcast,” Jeffrey Scott Parsons welcomes a special guest to explore one musical from theatre history. Together they get to the heart of the show’s cultural and emotional impact by looking at its creators, context, and storytelling. Always fun and heartfelt, this is the podcast to celebrate the humanity of our musical theatre art form. You can follow Jeffrey at @amusicalpodcast on Instagram or via the Broadway Podcast Network website. STAGE DOOR PODCAST with Victoria Bullard & Eliza Gunther! @ps.stagedoorpod A podcast talking all things theatre from auditioning to onstage horror stories with special guest appearances from some of Australia's leading creators. Conveniently hosted by two over caffeinated thespians, they can't wait to share their love of theatre with you all. When COVID-19 hit Australian shores in early 2020 it wasn't long before the arts world took some of the heaviest blows with theatres and venues quickly closing across the country. Just two of thousands to be let go from their own theatre jobs Elizabeth Gunther and Victoria Bullard saw an opportunity to foster a sense of community in a time of great social Isolation. You can follow Tori and Eliza on their Instagram or their website THE THEATRE PODCAST with Alan Seales @theatre_podcast This is a podcast for artists, made by artists. With over two decades of experience in film and theatre both as cast and creative, host Alan Seales speaks with Broadway, TV, film and beyond’s biggest talents to learn more about not only how the world of theatre and performing operate, but also what makes it so real and human. In-depth, personal, behind-the-scenes conversations will highlight special details of the industry that most people may not know exist, will always find out what makes the guests love their craft, what makes them tick, and what truly inspires them. DON'T BE SO DRAMATIC with Rachel Baker @dbsdpodcast  Don't Be So Dramatic, the podcast that talks to different people in the entertainment industry to discover what their job involves and how they got there. Hosted by Rachel Baker, each episode delves into the career and thoughts of her guest in film, TV, theatre, dance, marketing, managing and many other areas. Having known and worked with Rachel from university, she has worked extremely hard to make this podcast the best it can be and we've recently seen her go from strength to strength! I'm excited to have you hear her answer our question with a specific Disney focus. You can follow Rachel on Instagram and listen wherever you get your podcasts. TO KEEP UP WITH ALL THE LATEST REVIEWS, NEWS AND EXCLUSIVES, SIGN UP TO OUR MONTHLY NEWSLETTER NOW. FOLLOW THE LINK HERE.
May 29, 2022
Singing, Dancing, Acting...Wrestling? Dubbo Championship Wrestling ft. Zoe Ioannou & Luke Leong-Tay
On today's episode, we sit down with rising stars, Zoe Ioannou and Luke Leong-Tay to discuss the new Australian musical Dubbo Championship Wrestling which premieres at the Hayes Theatre in May 2022. Zoe and Luke run us through the massive learning curves they've learned to undertake real wrestling moves on stage, whilst still presenting a rocking Aussie score. We also feature one of our first games on the podcast! See how many wrestler names you can guess correctly. Who will win? Zoe or Luke?  Zoe is a graduate from the National Institute of Dramatic Art, with a Diploma of Musical Theatre. Zoe made her professional debut at a young age playing the role of Pepper in GFO’s production of Annie. Luke (He/him) is a Chinese Australian actor, musician and writer from Perth currently represented by Morrissey Management. After studying a Bachelors of Musical Theatre at WAAPA, Luke is passionate about creating new, Australian theatre. There’s not a spare seat in the Dubbo Dome. Ozzy the Aussie Battler flicks his cape and steps into the ring, and the crowd go troppo. This is Dubbo Championship Wrestling, the hilarious new Aussie rock musical that will change everything you thought you knew about professional wrestling, regional Australia, and musical theatre itself. Rose, a young woman from Dub-Vegas with wrestling in her blood, has long ago turned her back on the family business and Dubbo’s stifling small-town ways. When circumstance brings her back to her hometown on the eve of Dubbomania, the biggest wrestling tournament of the year, Rose is drawn into a monumental battle over family and identity, featuring capes, choreography, and some of the most colourful characters you’ll ever meet. The violence, the joy, the costumes, the thumbtacks. Will there be blood? We bloody hope so. Dubbo Championship Wrestling, written by rising stars Daniel and James Cullen and directed by smackdown champion Sheridan Harbridge, has been developed through Hayes Creative Development. Content Warning: Dubbo Championship Wrestling proudly makes FULL use of our filthy national lingo. Language may offend others! TICKETS: Tickets and information can be booked for either the Hayes Theatre or Riverside Parramatta through the links below. Hayes - Riverside - SIGN UP TO THE THEATRE THOUGHTS NEWSLETTER TODAY! Get your own copy of our monthly newsletter to recieve the latest news, reviews and exclusive giveaways only for newsletter subscribers. All you have to do is follow the link below or head to our website. It's that simple! SIGN UP HERE Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @theatrethoughtsaus or on Tik Tok @theatre_thoughts
May 15, 2022
The Phantom of the Opera Under the Stars with Paul Tabone!
In this episode we sit down with the wonderful Paul Ettore Tabone to discuss Handa Opera's Phantom of the Opera. Having completed over 1600 performances of Phantom in the role of Ubaldo Piangi, Aussie tenor, Paul Tabone comes back to Australia to reprise the role in the first ever outdoor production of Andrew Lloyd Webber's classic. Paul talks to us about how a small-town Queensland boy became one of the most sought after opera performers in theatre. He shares with us his love for Pavarotti, performing for Pavarotti's wife at the Verona Colisseum and his journey in Phantom of the Opera, including this new outdoor extravaganza and what he thinks of Andrew Lloyd Webber! About Paul: Paul Ettore Tabone began performing from the age of 9 and throughout his education attained extraordinary grades in piano, voice and music theory. He was given the honour of the prestigious ‘Most Promising Voice for Music Theatre Award’, both in 2007 & 2009 at the Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music. In 2011 Paul was engaged in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sequel to the acclaimed The Phantom of The Opera, Love Never Dies in the supporting principal role of ‘Squelch’. In the same year he also performed in Vision Australia’s Carols by Candlelight in Melbourne which is broadcast nationally every Christmas eve. Paul moved to Italy in 2012 where he was engaged as a soloist in Puccini’s renowned opera Turandot in Florence. Paul has recently concluded a four-year contract at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London’s Glimmering West End in the role of Ubaldo Piango in the 33rd year of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of The Opera. Paul continues his success in the role of Ubaldo Piangi as he returns to Australia in the Lawrence Connor production of "The Phantom of The Opera" that will perform for a limited season at the Sydney Opera House & The Arts Centre Melbourne in 2021 & 2022. You can read up on Paul's extensive theatre history by visiting or by following him @tabonetenor Tickets for Handa Opera's Phantom of the Opera can be booked via ARE YOU LOOKING TO SEE MORE THEATRE IN 2022? Why not join our team of reviewers? We're currently on the lookout for Sydney and Melbourne theatre lovers to join our expanding team of writers at Theatre Thoughts. You'll gain experience in writing and sharing your thoughts on theatre, plus you get to see shows on us! If this sounds like you, email us at or by filling in the form on our website.
April 10, 2022
Clowning Around with Damien Warren-Smith - Garry Starr and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival
In this episode, we sit down with the hilarious Damien Warren-Smith about the art of Clown and his character, Garry Starr. Damien is currently touring his latest production, Garry Starr: Greece Lightning which is coming to Darwin, the International Melbourne Comedy Festival and the Sydney Comedy Festival over the next two months. Damien shares the ins and outs of this unique form of theatre, his training at the École Philippe Gaulier, the creation of a Plague of Idiots, and how performers find their 'clown'. About Damien: Since graduating ACA’s 2.5 year program in 2004, Damien has been making a massive name for himself in his sell-out one-man shows, under the comedic alter-ego GARY STARR, touring England and the world. As well as this, Damien landed the role of ‘James’ in hit Aussie TV series Love My Way, in which he worked alongside Asher Keddie and Claudia Karvan, as well as working consistently in London and across the UK, on UK’s hit TV shows Law & Order: UK, and the BBC’s The Persuasionists. Warren made his professional stage debut in a production of Ladies Down Under for the Hull Truck Theatre Company, which led him to being cast in director Sue McCormick’s highly acclaimed production of Hamlet at Lancaster Castle. The production was shortlisted for a Peter Brook Empty Space Award in 2008. Damien continued to further his training in 2013 with legendary clown teacher Philippe Gaulier, and then formed the comedy troupe ‘Plague of Idiots’, which toured to theatre festivals around the world and eventually Edinburgh Fringe. Tickets for Garry Starr: Greece Lightning at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival are on sale now via Tickets for the two Sydney productions at the Sydney Comedy Festival can be booked via You can follow all things Garry Starr on Instagram by following @garrythestarr or follow Damien's journey by following @damiencreative ARE YOU LOOKING TO SEE MORE THEATRE IN 2022? Why not join our team of reviewers? We're currently on the lookout for Sydney and Melbourne theatre lovers to join our expanding team of writers at Theatre Thoughts. You'll gain experience in writing and sharing your thoughts on theatre, plus you get to see shows on us! If this sounds like you, email us at or by filling in the form on our website.
April 10, 2022
How do you become a Playwright? Kirsty Marillier & Orange Thrower
On this episode we sit down with actor and writer Kirsty Marillier to discuss the question: How do you become a playwright? Kirsty joins us to discuss how she made the journey from acting into writing, eventually creating one of the hottest shows in Sydney at the moment, Orange Thrower. We'll discuss the ins and outs of crafting a script from the beginning and what challenges lay in the way. Kirsty fills us in on the behind the scenes thoughts she has about her own work, and also where it fits in with the changing landscape of Australian theatre. Kirsty Marillier is a South African actor and award-winning playwright. She is currently a part of the Emerging Writers Group at Sydney Theatre Company and has two original works in development. Her first work, ORANGE THROWER, had its stage premiere in February 2022 with Griffin Theatre Company and National Theatre of Parramatta. ORANGE THROWER was the winner of the 2019 Rodney Seaborn Playwrights Award. Kirsty is currently in development with Belvoir St Theatre for her second play – THE ZAP, winner of the 2020 Max Afford Playwrights Award, which was developed with Playwriting Australia and Darlinghurst Theatre Company’s Next In Line program. She has been a part of multiple creative programs including Griffin Theatre Company’s Studio Artist Program (2020), Sydney Theatre Company’s Rough Draft Program (2019) and Malthouse Theatre’s Besen Writers Group (2018). In addition to being an award-winning writer, Kirsty is an accomplished performer having starred in drama including the Australian Premiere of HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, THE CHERRY ORCHARD with Belvoir St Theatre, HOME, I’M DARLING with Sydney Theatre Company, and COMA LAND with Black Swan State Theatre Company. Her acting credits in film and television include THE GREENHOUSE directed by Thomas Wilson-White; HOOK UP directed by Laura Nagy (short for MQFF/Paper Moose) and HOME AND AWAY. Kirsty attended WAAPA and has a BA in Creative Writing/Performance Studies. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Orange Thrower plays at the Griffin Theatre Company from 18 February - 26 March 2022 followed by a season at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta from Mar 30 — Apr 2, 2022. TICKETS: Griffin Theatre Riverside Parramatta FOLLOW OUR LINKTREE FOR ALL OUR CONTENT
March 13, 2022
Chicago the Musical! How did it become the longest running American Musical? Amy Copeland & So Popera Productions
What is the longest running American Musical? Easy, Chicago! This is one for your trivia nights folks.  I sit down with my friend Amy Copeland to discuss the history of Chicago the Musical, from its inception right up to the restaging of So Popera Productions 2017 sold out performance.  We'll discuss where Chicago the Musical came from, journey through its reiterations including the smash hit restaging on Broadway which one it a multitude of Tonys, and of course we'll share our thoughts on the famous movie version. Amy shares her insight into the foundations of the show and how it has become the longest running American Musical. Amy also shares the history of So Popera Productions and how it has established itself as a formidable company within the Illawarra's entertainment industry - bridging the gap between community and professional theatre. Established in 2008, the company was founded and continued to be managed by University of Wollongong graduates, all of whom have professional training in the Entertainment Industry. So Popera has staged four very successful Musical productions as well as a variety of cabaret and curated showcases - all while developing the proud tradition of providing quality, worthwhile opportunities for emerging artists in the Illawarra Region. So Popera has been awarded multiple times in 2014-2019 including Best Production of a Musical, Best Director, Best Musical Director, Best Choreographer, Best Set Design, Best Costume among other categories at the Canberra Area Theatre Awards, which encompasses regional NSW. In 2017, Brother & sister team Peter and Amy Copeland were also award the prestigious Gold Cat Award for outstanding contribution to Theatre and The Arts in multiple disciplines. CHICAGO THE MUSICAL - PRESENTED BY SO POPERA PRODUCTIONS March 29 - April 3, 2022 Illawarra Performing Arts Centre Tickets can be found HERE CHEAP THRILLS Our editor Charlotte’s top picks for those of us who can’t afford to, or couldn’t stand to, see another commercial musical!  March of 2022 is almost here and with restrictions easing, theatre and live performance in Sydney are back with a vengeance. If your New Year’s resolution this year is to see more theatre, you’ve got no idea where to start with what seems like millions of theatres in Sydney, or you’re flat broke and you think you can’t afford to see shows, this list is for you. In our new monthly feature on Theatre Thoughts, I’m featuring up and coming artists in Sydney in comedy, dance, cabaret and independent theatre in a list of shows you can see for about the same price as going to the movies and getting a bucket of popcorn and a drink (roughly 40 bucks). Plus, you’ll be able to brag to your friends that you’re so cultured because you’ve been to the t h e a t r e. Read the full article here SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON OUR PODCAST! Head to our website ( to fill out our survey and help shape the future of the Theatre Thoughts Podcast. In the meantime, search all things Theatre Thoughts by searching the hashtag #ttpodcast
February 26, 2022
The immersive Theatre Experience, with Beth Daly & The Great Gatsby Immersive Play
What exactly is an immersive experience and how can it elevate a classic text? That's the question we put to Beth Daly on today's podcast! Beth has been a part of the theatrical scene for years and crossed multiple mediums of performing, including street performance, television (All Saints, Water Rats), stage (Rules for Living, Jasper Jones, Away) and musical theatre (A New Brain, Fiddler on the Roof, Cry Baby, The Bridges of Madison County, Footloose). Now, Beth is directing a new Immersive Experience of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby which is set to inhabit the Wonderland Bar in Potts Point. We go through the history of The Great Gatsby from its humble origins, through to its literary acclaim and its many adaptations up to Viral Ventures newest immersive take on the text.  The audience inhabits the character of Nick Carraway, as he tells a tragic love story. Midwest native Nick arrives in 1922 New York in search of the American dream. A would-be writer, he moves in next-door to millionaire Jay Gatsby and across the bay from his cousin Daisy and her philandering husband, Tom. Nick becomes drawn into the captivating world of the wealthy and, as he bears witness to their illusions and deceits, pens a tale of impossible love, dreams, and tragedy. A fable of the Jazz Age, of enchantment and illusion, of a world where love and dreams are pursued and betrayed, this immersive adaption of the much-loved story has been created to blur the boundaries of conventional theatre. It will allow audiences to explore and immerse themselves into the world of The Great Gatsby through a choose-your-own-adventure-style production that will make everyone’s experience personal and unique.  Led by an ensemble of brilliantly talented Australian actors, GREAT GATSBY will offer audiences the opportunity to experience the story of Gatsby as they have never seen it before. Expect secret rendezvous, dramatic confrontations, bootleg gin and a party that only Gatsby could throw. SEASON DETAILS Venue:  Wonderland Bar (formerly The World Bar), 24 Bayswater Road, Potts Point Season: 18 February – 26 June 2022 Performance times:  Tues-Fri 7pm, Sat-Sun 2pm and 7pm Duration: 2 hours 20 minutes Price: $75-85 Bookings: ---------------------------- TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE PODCAST! We are asking our listeners to take part in a short survey to provide us feedback on our episodes so far! It would be SO APPRECIATED if you took the time to complete this survey honestly so we can improve our podcast for YOU! Without you, we have no podcast. We’d like to know what you have loved, what you think works, and what you feel doesn’t. We’d also like to know what you’d like to hear on future episodes!  Fill out the short survey HERE
February 13, 2022
What is Activist Theatre? Scarlet the Concept Album with Jess Newman & Richard Lindenfelzer
We recently sat down the creators of Scarlet the Musical and their release of their Concept Recording Album (@scarletmusical).  Jess Newman and Richard Lindenfelzer met when studying a masters of music theatre writing at NYU. Richard is an American writer and performer based in NY. Jess is Australian and currently based in Melbourne, who boasts a great experience in the local industry and community. Throughout the podcast, we discuss how their inception of Scarlet became a developing musical and how it deals with climate change.  We also discuss how activism theatre can be used as a force for good in a changing theatre landscape. Be sure to stay tuned to the end of the podcast where you will hear snippets from the concept album featuring Australia's own @maggiesmckenna @jaymehanekom and @blakeappelqvist  ‘Scarlet (Original Concept Recording)’ is a selection of five songs from the new musical written by award-winning composer and lyricist team Jess Newman (he/him) and Richard Lindenfelzer (he/him), featuring Dear Evan Hansen’s Maggie McKenna (they/them). The EP is out now, available to stream on all major digital music platforms. ‘Scarlet’ is an original post-apocalyptic science fiction parable for climate change and the importance of climate action. The new baroque-pop musical is the story of one woman's pursuit to discover the truth in a future dystopian world that hasn't seen the sun in over 400 years, and is beginning to doubt its existence entirely.  The conception of the musical itself is an international collaboration, being developed in both New York and Melbourne, Australia. It features some of Australia’s most prominent performers and industry members. The full-length musical had an Australian workshop in late 2021, and in New York, The Green Room 42 recently hosted a concert featuring a number of the recording’s songs. Between writers Lindenfelzer and Newman, their work has been performed at Radio City Music Hall, Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Rep. Theatre, and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. This is their second major musical collaboration, and they are thrilled to see ‘Scarlet’ take its next step toward the stage.  ------------------------------------------------------------ LINKS Scarlet the Musical Instagram Page Scarlet the Musical Twitter LISTEN TO THE CONCEPT ALBUM NOW
January 30, 2022
Heathers and Cult Musicals, with Tiegan Denina
It's a busy time for us here at Theatre Thoughts, and knowing that there are a few people in iso at the moment, we're gifting you with a NEW PODCAST. On this episode we have an amazing chat with the delightful Tiegan Denina about her upcoming role as Veronica in The Mitchell Old Company's production of HEATHERS THE MUSICAL coming to the ARA Darling Quartre from the 8th February 2022. Tiegan has undergone training  with the Australian Girls Choir, NIDA (Diploma of Musical Theatre) and VCA (Bachelor of Fine Arts, Music Theatre). Her most recent roles include Sarah – Our House – VCA (dir. Tyran Parke), Dance Captain/Ensemble – The Mystery of Edwin Drood – VCA (dir. Jason Langley), Featured Soloist – Morning Melodies VCA (dir. Jayde Kirchert)  and Ensemble – Chimerica – STC (dir. Kip Williams). Tiegan chats with us about why Heathers has such a cult following and is so well recieved by audiences. We also have a chat about some of our favourite screen to stage musicals and why musical moments stay in your memories. -------------------------------------------------------- The Mitchell Old Company presents, HEATHERS: The Musical, a high-energy immersive theatre experience. Based on the cult classic film of the same name, this heartfelt, hilarious and provocatively dark comedy will come to Sydney for a strictly limited season in February 2022. Featuring NEW SONGS straight from the West End production – come and join the 1989 class of Westerberg High School, for an explosive night of theatre! Brought to you by the award-winning creative team of Kevin Murphy (Reefer Madness, “Desperate Housewives”), Laurence O’Keefe (Bat Boy, Legally Blonde) and Andy Fickman (Reefer Madness, She’s the Man). HEATHERS: The Musical, is the darkly delicious story of Veronica Sawyer, a brainy, beautiful teenage misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers. But before she can get comfortable atop the high school food chain, Veronica falls in love with the dangerously sexy new kid J.D. When Heather Chandler, the Almighty, kicks her out of the group, Veronica decides to bite the bullet and kiss Heather’s aerobicized ass... but J.D. has another plan for that bullet. For more information, visit The Mitchell Old Company. Book, Music & Lyrics by Kevin Murphy & Laurence O’Keefe. Based on the film written by Daniel Waters. By Arrangement with ORiGiNTM Theatrical on behalf of Samuel French, Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company. TICKETS CAN BE BOUGHT HERE
January 16, 2022
Marina Abramović's presence in the Museum of Modern Love, with Julian Garner
On this episode we sit down with actor Julian Garner to discuss The Museum of Modern Love, Marina Abramović's The Artist is Present and what kept Julian busy throughout lockdown. Julian is a National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) graduate. His theatre credits include The Turquoise Elephant for Griffin Theatre Company; Inner Voices for Red Line Productions; Arcadiaand Storm Boy for Sydney Theatre Company; The Crucible, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing and Cyrano de Bergerac for Sport for Jove; Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, As You Like It, The Wars of the Roses, Measure for Measure and Twelfth Night for Bell Shakespeare His television credits include Top of the Lake: China Girl, Reckoning, Pulse, Janet King, McLeod’s Daughters, Blackjack, Home and Away and more recently the Peter Duncan directed mini-series Operation Buffalo. His film credits include Top End Wedding, Killing Ground, Problem Play, Head On, The Children of the Corn and I Am Woman He is currently filming on Network Ten’s series 2 of The Secret She Keeps. "[A] rare treat… an astute meditation on art, bravery, friendship, love, how to live, and on dying." - Sydney Morning Herald novel review Following a successful series of development readings staged as part of Sydney Festival 2021, Seymour Centre is proud to present the world premiere production of The Museum of Modern Love at Sydney Festival 2022. Adapted from the Stella Prize-winning novel by Heather Rose, The Museum of Modern Love follows New York-based film composer, Arky Levin, a man struggling to live and work in the face of incredible loss. By chance, Arky finds his way to MoMA and sees Marina Abramović in The Artist is Present—a marathon and now-legendary feat of performance art that saw Abramović sitting silent and completely still opposite thousands of museum visitors in the spring of 2010. Arky returns to MoMA again and again, and encounters other viewers also drawn to the exhibit, each with their own reasons for spending hours in the presence of Abramović. As the performance unfolds, so does Arky, and with his life coming back into focus, he finally understands what he must do to move forward. Set against the backdrop of one of the greatest art events in modern history, and blurring the lines between spectator and artist, this transfixing new work explores dying and living, courage and commitment—and meditates on the power of art to unite and connect us, even in an increasingly disconnected world. As part of The Museum of Modern Love, 10 people per performance will have the opportunity to sit on stage and be part of the action. All on-stage ticket holders will need to meet backstage before the show for a briefing and ticket holders will need to stay on stage for the duration of the performance. Further details on the Seymour Centre Website. Below you can find all the links to things discussed in today's episode: TICKETS - Marina Abramović's The Artist is Present Marina meets former partner
January 09, 2022
How 'An American in Paris' blends Musical Theatre and Ballet, with Leanne Cope
We finish the year with something very special, our one on one with the talented Leanne Cope! Leanne Cope is currently in rehearsals for the Australian Premiere of An American in Paris which begins in National Tour in Brisbane of January 2022. Leanne Cope is a British Tony and Grammy Award-nominated dancer and actor and originated the role of Lise Dassin in the Broadway and West End productions of An American in Paris. She began her career at the Royal Ballet, where she was First Artist, after graduating from the Royal Ballet School. We sit down with Leanne to discuss the production, how she landed the role of Lise Dassin on Broadway, as well as what theatre fans should expect from this unique production. Be sure to follow us or subscribe to our podcast channels on either spotify, stitcher, googlepodcasts, or applepodcasts to listen.
December 26, 2021
How improvisation plays a role in theatre, with Jarrod Riesinger and Bradley Ward
In this episode, we sit down with Jarrod Riesinger & Bradley Ward from Rising Arts Productions to discuss their production of Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic which is coming to the Flight Path Theatre in January, and the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre in April 2022. We’ll discuss how the production team kept rehearsals going throughout lockdown, why they believe new productions are essential for out-of-the-city theatres, and even perform a hilarious improvisation game! Be sure to listen to the end of the podcast for a massive new giveaway! The episode will be available to stream from spotify, apple podcasts, google podcasts and stitcher.
December 19, 2021
Who are CDP Theatre Producers, with Andrew Threlfall
On today's show, we chat exclusively with Andrew Threlfall from CDP Theatre Producers about their upcoming production, Guess How Much I Love You which is set to open at the Seymour Centre from the 15th December. Andrew talks through his role at CDP as well as what it means to be a producer in the theatre industry as well as what makes Guess How Much I Love You a must see production for all ages. We also throw Andrew our own Theatre Thoughts question on how he would bring a much loved classic to life on stage. Stay tuned to hear which show we choose! Be sure to leave us a review or follow us on our socials. Facebook Instagram Website
December 11, 2021
Theatre Chat: The Legacy of Stephen Sondheim
On a very special podcast, we sit down with Theatre Thoughts regular, Daniel Stefanovski, and our Editor, Charlotte Smee, to discuss the late, great Stephen Sondheim. Passing away just before the beginning of December, we pay tribute to what makes Sondheim such a force that will continue to resonate in the theatre world. We'll also share our own thoughts on some of his biggest shows and best songs, as well as some of our least favourites. You'll also hear the incomparable Lin Manuel Miranda reading a tribute in New York's Time Square. So stay tuned! Be sure to leave us a review or share our podcast around!
December 04, 2021
Theatre Thoughts Live: Sydney Theatre Royal reopens for Jagged Little Pill
On this episode, we chat with Sir Howard Panter, Joint CEO of Trafalgar Entertainment as well as Tim McFarlane, Executive Charimain-Asia Pacific, on the reopening of the Theatre Royal in Sydney. We go into what their plans are for the theatre moving forward, as well as what they envision for the Sydney theatre scene. We’ll also hear from Jagged Little Pill cast members Natalie Bassingthwaite and newcomer Emily Nkomo on why they’re excited for audiences to see the smash-hit musical, as well as what shows they’d love to see come to the new theatre. You can listen on Spotify, Applepodcasts, Google Podcasts or Stitcher from our Anchor Podcasts site. A massive thank you also has to go out to Life is Productions for the footage posted on our website and the audio for today’s podcast. Give them a follow on Instagram @lifeisproductions or on their Facebook page
December 04, 2021
Theatre Chat: What's so captivating about Come From Away?
On our first ever podcast join me as I sit down with my friend, Daniel Stefanovski, to discuss one of our favourite shows, Come From Away. We'll share our exclusive review on the production as well as share some behind-the-scenes insights into the show we've found along our love fest with the show.
November 29, 2021
The Theatre Thoughts Podcast: Trailer
Listen to The Theatre Thoughts Podcast trailer now!
November 21, 2021