Out-of-towners to star in ‘Poppins’

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FREE Rain Theatre has today made its long-awaited announcement of the interstate leads for its March 2015 of “Mary Poppins” at Canberra Theatre.

Alinta Chidzey
Alinta Chidzey

The two leads, Mary Poppins and Bert, will be played by in-demand young musical theatre stars leads Alinta Chidzey and Shaun Rennie.

This announcement is likely to further aggravate discontent in the Canberra musicals scene, where aspiring actors have expressed increasing alienation from Free Rain director Anne Somes’ change of direction in recent years that has seen local talent sidelined for out-of-town professionals who are sometimes, but not always, of considerable note.

Shaun Rennie
Shaun Rennie

But the formula seems to be working for Somes, with “the Phantom of the Opera’ and “Legally Blonde, the Musical” scoring well with a public looking for fresher experiences in the theatre.

At all events Chidzey and Rennie have impeccable credentials and their presence should do the trick for Free Rain once again.

Chidzey is a VCA graduate with screen credits in everything from “The Frontier” to “The Dr Blake Mysteries.” She has won a Melbourne Green Room Award, played Anita in “West Side Story” and performed in the Australasian Tour of “Mamma Mia!”

Rennie, who trained at NIDA, recently spent 18 months living and working in the UK, but was previously seen in the Australia/Asia Pacific Tour of “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber”, “CATS,” and “Camelot,” also winning the coveted Sydney Cabaret Convention in 2003.

“Mary Poppins”, Canberra Theatre, March 12-29, Bookings to canberratheatrecentre.com.au or 6275 2700.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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