The treasured Australian actor, who recently notched up 30 years as Home and Away’s Alf Stewart, will swap Summer Bay for the Queensland stage, joining the cast of Priscilla for the musical’s Brisbane run at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC in September. Ray takes over from veteran actor Robert Grubb who will down tools at the end of the Adelaide season after more than eight months on the road.
Born on a cattle and sheep property in Outback Queensland, Ray has not only forged a career in TV, film and stage but is also an experienced stockman, horseman and former first-class rugby player. He made his theatre debut at Brisbane’s La Boite Theatre in 1972 and has performed in countless productions both here and abroad, including 16 pantomimes in the UK.
His film credits include iconic Aussie movies Breaker Morant, Newsfront and My Brilliant Career. He auditioned for the pilot of Home and Away thinking it might be a few months’ work – three decades later he is the longest-serving actor in the award winning Australian drama series!
Having played Broken Hill based mechanic Bob in the original 2007 Sydney production of Priscilla, the West End and New Zealand, Ray said: “The pink bus took me from Sydney to London to Auckland and this year to Brisbane. I never in my wildest dreams thought a bloke from the Queensland bush who can’t sing or dance would be allowed anywhere near a musical! Thank you Priscilla.”
After playing 135 cities in 29 different countries around the world, Australia’s most famous bus is looking more fabulous than ever. Priscilla features a dazzling array of more than 500 costumes, 200 headdresses and a non-stop hit parade of dance-floor classics including It’s Raining Men, I Will Survive, I Love the Nightlife and Finally, the fabulously camp production has more glitter than ever!
Australian theatre royalty Tony Sheldon has returned home to reprise the role of Bernadette. He has frocked up more than 1800 times across the globe as the sassy desert queen, earning Tony and Olivier nominations for the role. Joining him on the bus is accomplished leading man David Harris (Legally Blonde, Miss Saigon, Wicked) as Tick and Euan Doidge (Kinky Boots, Les Misérables) as Felicia.
Currently playing at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre, before heading to Adelaide, the Brisbane season of Priscilla Queen of the Desert plays from 26 September 2018 – tickets are now on sale! For more information, visit: www.priscillathemusical.com.au for details.
Image: Ray Meagher as Bob the Mechanic (supplied)