What would you do differently to what you do now?
I have no idea – I’m a lost boy that has stumbled upon amazing people who have guided me to where I am now. I am forever grateful.
Who inspires you and why?
My parents. They lost their house and all their assets when I was just 5 years old. A family friend kindly let us crash in his study while my parents made other plans. They borrowed a small amount of money from an aunt and started selling goods to sailors at dock. From there it grew into something much bigger. It’s only now that I realise how much they must have suffered, but never showed this to my sister and I. All I have are happy memories of that time.
What would you do to make a difference in the world?
To continue to do theatre. The more I can be myself on stage and be truthful, the more the audience will feel empathy. Empathy makes whatever role we play, everyones journey and through that we can move people to, perhaps, become conscience of the world around them and of the actions they take. #deep
Favourite holiday destination and why?
Italy. My father is from Sicily and I grew up with a lot of that culture, but aside from that, history and art is around every corner. One can walk for hours and still stumble across something stimulating.
When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I’m from Melbourne, so I would probably take them to the great cafe spots and show off our lane ways. I might take them to the Dandenongs as well – It’s not too far away and it’s nice looking.
What are you currently reading?
Mao’s Last Dancer. I had seen the movie ages ago and loved it. I’m currently touring in OA’s production of The King And I, currently playing at QPAC in Brisbane. The author of the book is the Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet and seeing him around the halls has inspired me to read it.
What are you currently listening to?
Appreciating what you have in this present moment. I learnt that from my grandmother. Also, J-pop.
What does the future hold for you?
Continue to work on my craft and see what happens next!
Adrian Li Donni is a graduate of Circle In The Square Theatre School in New York. Whilst there, he performed in The Seagull, Measure For Measure and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
In New York, Adrian was seen in Ziegfeld’s Midnight Frolic of ’08, at Joe’s Pub in Leap, and in Lance Horne, Or What You Will. In 2009 he toured with Broadway writing legends Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens in Broadway to Australia, and a year later with Broadway composer, Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Enchanted) in a concert tour of his acclaimed catalogue of works, Festival Of Broadway.
Adrian has played the role of Lun Tha in numerous productions across the globe, including the world premiere of the newly-restored The King And I for Lyric Stage in Texas; for The Production Company in Melbourne; and most recently in the UK/Ireland tour for Curve Theatre (Leicester, UK).
Other credits include Rent, The Music of Georgia Stitt, Songs for a New World, Pacific Overtures, Loaded and Jesus Christ Superstar at the Ljubljana Festival Theatre in Slovenia.
Adrian is currently appearing as Lun Tha in The King and I, which plays for a limited season at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre from 10 June 2014. For more information, visit: www.thekingandimusical.com.au for details.
Image: Adrian Li Donni