Illawarra product Brendan Irving is relishing playing the largely thankless role of the stalker in The Bodyguard: The Musical.
“He’s like the catalyst to the whole purpose of the production, but he just does a lot of sinister lurking,” the now Sydney-based actor laughed.
“But that is fun and rare to get a sinister acting role, and not humorously so, in music theatre. It’s almost unheard of.”
Born in Warilla and raised in Albion Park, Irving, now 31, is a former student of Wollongong High School and since graduating from NIDA played Rocky in The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
“It’s one of those shows that as soon as you mention The Bodyguard, people’s faces light up already,” he said.
“So they’re already excited to come and see this show that you’re going to put on for them, which is really rare too.
“To be a part of something that everybody’s already excited about before they’ve even seen it, that’s thrilling.”
The Bodyguard is making its Australian premiere at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre from April 21.
Based on the hit 1992 film, the show stars pop singer Paulini Curuenavuli, who will take on the role of Rachel Marron, made famous by the late Whitney Houston.
It also stars Prinnie Stevens as Rachel’s sister, and Neighbours star Kip Gamblin is playing Frank Farmer, aka the bodyguard.
The show marks Paulini’s musical theatre debut.
“I can’t wait to sing the songs every night – these are songs I’ve grown up listening to since I was a little girl,” she said.
“Eight shows (within a week) is a lot - it’s going to be a big challenge.
“Because I’ve never been involved with musical theatre before, I used to look at the cast when I’d go see a show and I’d be like, ‘wow’.
“You just wouldn’t realise how much work they’d put into the show before, but being part of the show, it’s incredible.
“These guys dance, sing and act every night… It’s a massive ask and I really do take my hat off to musical theatre performers.”
Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.