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Tour 2007 AUS/NZ: Cast

The Cast

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Richard Burton

George Herbert, The Journalist

Richard Burton was an international star of the stage, motion pictures and the spoken word. As a player upon the major stages of Great Britain, Canada and the United States, his voice and visage was universally known.

He was one of the rare actors whose professional accomplishments met the challenge of classic stage literature including roles which grow and mature throughout an actor’s lifetime.

The consummate actor began life as the son of a coal miner in Pontrhydyfen (pronounced Pontradeven), South Wales.

Over the years, Mr Burton gathered seven Academy Award nominations for Best Actor in such diverse motion pictures as Becket, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, Anne Of A Thousand Days and Equus.

The 47 motion pictures that he made include Alexander The Great, Circle Of Two, The Night Of The Iguana, The Taming Of The Shrew, Where Eagles Dare, Under Milk Wood, Tristan And Iseult, The Wild Geese, and his last, 1984. His most popular recordings were Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, The Love Poems Of John Donne, The Poetry Of Thomas Hardy, The Little Prince, A Personal Anthology, Shakespeare’s The Rape Of Lucrece, all of Dylan Thomas’s works, and Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version Of The War of The Worlds.

A Commander of the British Empire, he was also a Don and Fellow of St Peter’s College, Oxford University. Richard Burton was married to former Freelance Production Assistant, Sally Anne Hay when he passed away on 5th August 1984 at his home in Celigny, Switzerland.

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Rachael Beck

Beth, Parson Nathaniel's Wife

Award-winning actor Rachael Beck is one of Australia’s most in-demand performers in musical theatre and television.

Rachael is widely remembered as Belle in ‘Beauty and the Beast’, which won an ARIA Award for the Best Australian Soundtrack / Cast / Show Release in 1996. Rachael has performed in ‘Eureka’; as Sally Bowles in ‘Cabaret’, Kathy Selden in ‘Singin in the Rain’ which earned her a prestigious Mo Award nomination and the role of Maria in ‘The Sound of Music’. Rachael’s other stage credits include her Green Award nominated performance as Fantine in ‘Les Miserables’, Rumpleteaser in ‘Cats’, Naomi in ‘Secret Bridemaid’s Business’ and as Sally in ‘Me and My Girl’. In 1992, Rachael performed the role of Judy Garland in her own one-woman show, ‘Young Judy’ written by John Beck. With many television credits, she is best remembered as Sam in ‘Hey Dad’.

Over the past twelve months Rachael has played role of Peg Hartigan in ‘Summer Rain’, directed by Robyn Nevin and has worked with Todd McKenney and Tommy Tycho in a series of concerts entitled ‘Broadway To Hollywood’ with Symphony Orchestras around Australia. She has also co-starred with the Rat Pack’s Pack at Jupiters and Crown Casinos and appeared in ‘Showstoppers’ at the Opera House with Rhonda Burchmore, Judi Connelli, Peter Cousens and Todd McKenney. In May Rachael starred in Channel 7’s production ‘It Takes Two’ and in July she played the lead in the Production Company’s ‘Pajama Game’.

Rachael’s impressive career is a testament to her staying power in Australian entertainment.

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Michael Falzon

The Artilleryman

Emerging as one of Australia’s hottest singer/songwriters, Michael has worked throughout Australasia, USA and UK,performing in theatre, concert, television and film.

Michael received Helpmann and Mo Award nominations for his lead role in the Ben Elton / QUEEN hit show, We Will Rock You. After reprising his role in WWRY Tokyo, Michael joined the cast of The Wharf Revue for Sydney Theatre Company in 2006, fronted Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Showstoppers, and sold out Sydney’s The Basement with his live solo show.

Michael has graced both the small and big screens as actor and vocalist. In 2005, Michael appeared in the acclaimed role of Jose DeSousa in the final season of Blue Heelers. He also performed live on stage with QUEEN in an A Current Affair special. Other highlights include Carols by Candlelight, Carols in the Domain, the Good Friday Appeal, and playing a trigger-happy Spaniard in Abe Forsythe’s film, Ned. Michael also had the honour of singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” before a crowd of 80,000 at the AFL Grand Final, televised to millions around the world from the MCG.

A founding director of SMA Productions, the producers of String Diva and The Rat Pack’s Back, since 2002 their shows have been seen at Sydney’s Twilight at Taronga, The Adelaide Festival, at Jupiters and Crown Casinos, and in concert with Michael Crawford. 2004 marked the launch of SMA UK as they continue to entertain audiences at thousands of events around the world.

A great fan of Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds, Michael is delighted to be a part of this new production before starring alongside Peter Cousens in Floyd Collins for Kookaburra – the National Musical Theatre Company. Look out for Michael Falzon’s Limited Edition solo CD release.

Register at www.michaelfalzon.com

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Justin Hayward

The Sung Thoughts of the Journalist

No one who has ever experienced Justin Hayward singing will have forgotten the plaintive, soaring quality of his voice or the crystal clear guitar solos.

Justin is the vocalist, lead guitarist and composer for The Moody Blues in an era that has spanned 38 years and sold 55 million albums. He wrote their two-million seller, Nights In White Satin, and earned the group a succession of platinum, gold and silver records, as well as numerous awards for compositions such as Question, Tuesday Afternoon, The Voice, Blue Guitar, Your Wildest Dreams and I Know You’re Out There Somewhere.

In 1974 Justin received the first of a number of ASCAP awards for his work as a songwriter and it is these that he treasures most, for they represent recognition from his peers. In 1978 Justin had a hit single with “Forever Autumn” from “The War of The Worlds” album. In 2004 he was awarded the Gold Badge Award from The British Academy Of Songwriters.

With his beautiful melodies, unique guitar phrases and a kaleidoscope of musical styles and textures, he maintains a flourishing solo career with albums such as Songwriter, Blue Jays, Nightflight produced by Jeff Wayne, Classic Blue, Moving Mountains, The View From The Hill and a CD & DVD of Live at San Juan Capistrano which includes a solo performance of Forever Autumn. He has recently released An Audience with Justin Hayward at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame DVD.

Justin continues to record and tour with The Moody Blues throughout the world.

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Shannon Noll

Parson Nathaniel

Shannon Noll impacted public consciousness back in 2004 with his emotional cover of the Moving Pictures classic “What About Me”, his debut single from the album “That’s What I’m Talking About” that was to drive him to the top of the ARIA charts.

Since then, Shannon has released a second album “Lift” and in the process, consolidated his place as one of Australia’s most popular artists. His songs have become radio and video playlist staples, his name a regular fixture at the top of the charts, his face one of the country’s most recognisable. He is the only male to have ten consecutive top 10 ARIA chart singles and earlier this year, won his third consecutive “Best Male Artist” award at the MTV AVMA’s. Back in June he won his first APRA Award for the song “Lift”. Over the last three years, Shannon has toured the country relentlessly, taking his music in a live environment from the west coast to far north Queensland and everywhere in between.

Earlier this year, Shannon spent a significant amount of time songwriting in Australia and the US, preparing material for album number three.

Shannon’s long-awaited new single and album, produced by Luke Ebbin and recorded in Los Angeles earlier this year, will both be released in September through SONY BMG Music Entertainment.

www.shannonnoll.com.au

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Chris Thompson

The Voice Of Humanity

In 1975 Chris joined Manfred Mann’s Earthband and was with them until 1986. During that time he enjoyed a number of hit singles, including Blinded by the Light and Davy’s on the Road Again, the former being a number one around the world; and albums The Roaring Silence (1976), Watch (1978), Angel Station (1979), Chance (1980), Somewhere in Africa (1982), Live In Budapest (1983) and Criminal Tango (1986). In 1979 Chris formed his own band Night which released two albums, Night (1979) and Long Distance (1981) and produced two top twenty hits Hot Summer Night and If you Remember Me.

In 1989 Chris wrote and performed the official championship song of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships The Challenge, which reached number one in Germany. In 1994 he sang the theme from the successful German TV series Florida Lady. This series also gave birth to a brand new recording of Blinded By the Light.

Chris toured extensively with MMEB 1975 to 1986 and Night 1979 to 1983. After 1986 Chris recorded and toured under his own name and with Alan Parsons. Chris also worked with Queen and other Artists on the 46664 Nelson Mandela Aids benefit concert in Capetown, November 2003.

For the last two years Chris has been working on a Multi Media / Musical project entitled Rediscovery due to be released in 2008. Chris continues to perform extensively in Europe and America. More information is available on his website christhompson-central.com

Over the years Chris has contributed songs and or vocals to such artists as Tina Turner, Elton John, Queen, Annie Lennox, Roger Daltrey, Brian May, Ozzie Osbourne, Britney Spears, Alan Parsons, Ray Charles, Def Leppard, Toto and many more.

www.christhompson-central.com

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Anna-Marie Wayne

Carrie, George Herbert's Fiancée

Anna-Marie started acting in her young teens, guest starring in the hit TV comedies “The Upper Hand”, alongside Honor Blackman, and Mr Bean, with Rowan Atkinson. She went on to train for 3 years at the one of the UK’s leading drama schools, Guildford School of Acting and, upon graduation, created the lead role of Elisa in Solitary Confinement at London’s West End theatre, ICA The Mall, alongside Adam Garcia.

She has worked (with drama and comedy performances), in practically every medium since - TV, Film, Stage, Radio and Commercials. Having a US passport, as well as her British one, she decided to relocate to Los Angeles two years ago.

Recent film work includes a lead role in Disappearing In America starring Mark Pellegrino as well as the lead role of Jacque in the dark thriller Number One Longing, Number Two Regret, alongside Jenny Agutter. As of the writing of this Bio, Anna-Marie just wrapped a lead role in the much anticipated horror / thriller feature film Spike.

Her UK stage work has included playing the lead role of Laly in Best Friends (New End Theatre 2005/Edinburgh Festival 2001), Roberta in The Railway Children (King’s Head Theatre), and lead roles in Slow Train To Izmir (Southwark Playhouse), The Rival Queens (Union Theatre), The Little Tragedies (Total Studios), The Passing Out Parade (Etcetera Theatre) and The Crucible (Electric Theatre).

Anna-Marie has also performed in many short films including Undone, which she also wrote and produced, The Antagonist for producer Share Stallings (Death At A Funeral) and “Who Flew Over What?” for Tonic Films (the producers of Cabin Fever).

Anna-Marie is thrilled to be part of the 3 generations of Wayne family in The War of The Worlds Live on Stage!


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