Ethan Jones shares his excitement about ‘The Boy From Oz’

In preparing for his lead role in The Boy From Oz Ethan Jones has been learning a lot about Peter Allen, the legendary Australian entertainer at the centre of the musical. The WAAPA graduate says the show is going to be a massive party every single night of its run, and he’s enthused to be stepping into the world of Peter Allen, maracas and big song and dance numbers.

“It’s so cool!” JOnes said ahead of the show opening at the Crown Theatre. “I feel like I get permission to be this outsized, larger than life person, and personally as well it’s given me this boldness and I’ve found the role really inspiring.

“Peter had this ‘I don’t give a fuck’ attitude, and he was just shamelessly himself. He didn’t let prejudice or anything get his way, but at the same time a lot of his career was a lot of self-doubt and uncertainty and sad times.

“That’s what this musical is about, how this character can have such a tough time, and go through these really trying times, but then put that all into music and tell such really moving story. It’s so wonderful to explore his life.”

Bashfully conceding that he himself is much more attractive that Peter Allen was, Jones says he’s put a lot of thought into how to portray the much-loved entertainer.

“Peter Allen was a real person so I’ve had just endless resources to try and give the the essence of Peter. I should make it very clear – I am not Peter Allen.”

What Jones says he has attempted to capture in his performance is the energy Allen brought to the stage and his aspirations, fears and challenges.

Jones describes his time at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts as a little different to most undergraduates, as he was 23 when he started his course. Sitting alongside most his classmates who had come straight out of high school he describes himself as the “senior citizen” of his cohort. Before starting his studies he played music, worked in Singapore at Universal Studios and worked in what he himself describes as “some dive clubs in Los Angeles”.

After graduating in 2019 his first year out of university was looking bright when he was signed up to the musical 9 to 5, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak the production is on hiatus. The artist didn’t have to wait long to find his next opportunity with this new production of The Boy From Oz giving him the chance to really show off his talents.

“Everything happens for a reason, and the flip side of the coin is I get this amazing opportunity.” Jones said.

The Boy from Oz features a bevy of world-class musical theatre performers including Lucy Williamson as Judy Garland, Elethea Sartorelli as Liza Minnelli, Casey Edwards as Marion Woolnough and Peter Cumins as Greg Connell. The production is directed and choreographed by Drew Anthony.

The Boy From Oz opens at the Crown Theatre from 23rd January 2021, tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.com.au

Graeme Watson


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