Currently playing to critical acclaim in QPAC’s Lyric Theatre, Australian theatre royalty, Tony Sheldon will celebrate his 2000 show milestone on Wednesday 31 October 2018 as Bernadette in Priscilla Queen of the Desert.
In a role that has earned him both Tony and Olivier nominations, Tony Sheldon returned to reprise the role of Bernadette for the 2018 Australian tour having created the sassy desert queen in the original Australian production. He performed the role in the original West End production before treading the boards at the legendary Palace Theatre on Broadway where he won the Theatre World Award for Outstanding Broadway Debut.
Sheldon won the Sydney Critics, Green Room and GLUGs Award along with a Helpmann nomination for his performance in the Australian production. Overseas he was nominated for a Tony and an Olivier Award. His portrait hangs on the famous celebrity wall at Sardi’s Restaurant in New York’s Times Square.
Tony Sheldon is a third-generation performer. As a baby he watched from his bassinet as his parents, cabaret legend Toni Lamond and her late husband Frank Sheldon, rehearsed their vaudeville act. He began his career as a seven-year-old singing on Graham Kennedy’s TV show In Melbourne Tonight, and has performed with all of Australia’s major theatre companies.
Speaking to the role of Bernadette, Tony says it is a role he will never tire of. “It’s a road movie so you’re always in a different place, meeting different characters,” he says. “If I come to the show every night as though I don’t know the story, and just let it happen, the story dictates keeping it fresh. That’s how I’ve done it; I keep myself open and let it happen anew every night.”
“She’s such a well-rounded character; she’s a mother, a showgirl, a bitch, she’s hilarious, she sings, she dances, she wears fantastic costumes. Over 12 years, I’ve found a lot of different aspects to Bernadette.”
To mark the milestone, fellow Queenslander and acting royalty, Ray Meagher will pay tribute to Tony at the matinee performance on Wednesday 31 October at QPAC’s Lyric Theatre.
After playing 135 cities in 29 different countries around the world, Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical sashays out of the Lyric Theatre on Sunday 4 November 2018 – concluding the 2018 Australian tour production. For more information, visit: www.priscillathemusical.com.au for details.
Image: Tony Sheldon as Bernadette – photo by Ben Symons