Meet the 2018 Cast & Team!

SPOTLIGHT on STEVE DORRINGTON (aka BB’s “Billy Buckett”)

“Fave colour?  Blue

Fave food?  Pizza

What do I do to relax?  Family time, going to the park.

First time onstage?  A ballet concert I think. I would’ve been 5.

Most embarrassing onstage moment?  Forgetting the lyrics to 16 going on 17 from Sound Of Music and scatting instead.

Most fun onstage moment?  Having silent conversations with my sister Mel just with facial expressions.

Do I relate to my BB Role?  I play the role of Billy Buckett and relate to that character in many ways; I do have a trade and I am a working musician. I understand the work it takes, the rejection and the elation that being an artist and performer brings.

Fave BB song?  Feather On The Wind. It’s a really beautiful reflective song and reminds me of the feeling I get touring. It’s bittersweet.

Fave BB experience?  When we got a standing ovation for preview and I thought, we must be ok.

To what am I looking forward for BB 2018?  Bringing so much more experience to the role.  Performing in a professional production. Giving it everything.”  – Steve Dorrington, “Billy Buckett”

SPOTLIGHT on LAUREN LEE INNIS-YOUREN (aka BB’s “Janette Burns”):

“Favourite colour? Purple… but also black

Favourite food?  Must I choose just one? I suppose it would have to be pizza, especially the homemade kind!

What do I do to relax?  Relax? What does this word mean? Just kidding! I love to unwind with a good book.

First performed on stage?  I must have been about 2 or 3 years old! I don’t remember it, but it would have been for a ballet concert. I was a maypole dancer, and probably spent most of the dance skipping around a maypole.

Biggest “fail” moment or the most embarrassing moment onstage? It’s not really that exciting. My dress burst open at the back while I was singing the “Seventy-six Trombones/Goodnight, My Someone” reprise in The Music Man, and to stop the audience from seeing, I walked offstage backwards without turning around. It looked a bit strange, but better than showing them all my underwear!

Most triumphant or most fun moment onstage?
I have fun in every show, there are so many amazing moments! Billy Buckett is definitely at the top of the list of fun shows, and playing Christine in the Phantom of the Opera would have to be one of the most triumphant.

Do I relate to my BB character?  In BB, I play Jan, and there are so many things about her that I relate to and love! She’s a good girl, not too much of a rebel, but just enough to annoy her parents. She loves very deeply, and is a hopeless romantic. She’s incredibly optimistic and believes that love will conquer all.

Fave BB song?  Again, must I chose just one? Mr Cool, Tender is the Night, Dynamo – they’re all excellent!

Fave BB experience?  The friendship and love that we all shared bringing this original work to the stage.  Oh, and practising those dance moves with Steve… haha!

(Editor: Check out the video of Lauren and Steve – aka Billy – learning a new move for BB 2013. I dare you not to wince!)

Further thoughts?  There’s something special about this show that is just infectious.  People who never got to see it live know about it, simply because we all loved it so much, and now they love it too, and want to see it come back to life!  There’s something very special about a show that can reach into people’s hearts like that.”  – Lauren Lee Innis-Youren, aka “Janette Burns”

SPOTLIGHT on ROSLYN JOHNSON, aka BB’s staging director:

“Fave colour?  Varies – currently orange
Fave food?  Bread. Bread is life

First performance?  Some kind of Sunday school thing – I was a doll. But directing is my thing. Which I have been doing forever.

One memorable Easter Sunday I forced my sisters to wake up before sunrise and dress up as rabbits and birds. I also made them and the neighbour’s kids dress up at Christmas and walk around performing carols. So – it’s a lifelong compulsion. (Editor: Me too, Ros, me too. My sisters and neighbours still struggle to forgive me. ;))

Biggest “fail” moment on stage?   In the Townsville Gang Show, one year the wardrobe mistress refused to believe I had lost weight. Thus the skirt I was wearing in the opening started sliding off and I danced into the wings.

Best onstage moment?  Hard to beat the finale of Les Mis in Townsville, watching a full house of 1100 on their feet.

BB 2013?   I started as just a dramaturg/staging consultant at the script preparation (Ed: I love how she says “just”). But once the show was cast, Cath and Jay suddenly realized that all that stuff between the songs needed looking after. (Ed: Yes our hands were a little overfull. SOOOO grateful we had you as our staging director, Ros!!!!).
Creating someone else’s artistic vision instead of my own was one of the most challenging and beneficial things I’ve ever done to grow as a director.

BB 2018?  Will be a distillation of the BB story and characters. We have them so clearly in our minds and memories that I’m confident it will be the sports-car version.”  – Roslyn Johnson, BB’s Staging Director

SPOTLIGHT on IAN MAURICE, aka BB’s “Arthur Burns”, the boss we love to loathe…

“Fave colour?  Blue

To relax?  Listen to music, usually jazz or light classical

First time on stage?  School Play when about 13. It was so long ago I’ve forgotten what play it was or character I played. (Editor: Ian tells me was during the pre-photography era too.)

Most embarrassing moment onstage?  Guys & Dolls. Leaning on a table which collapsed and broke into pieces and I landed heavily on my knee and limped to my exit.

Most triumphant or fun moment?  Playing Ben Stone in Sondheim’s Follies. Any Sondheim music is a challenge but felt I nailed it.

BB character?  Arthur Burns

Relatable aspects of “Arthur”?  I’ve seen many bosses over the years who have been so motivated with business that they never really understood their families until it was often too late.

Fave BB song ?  Self-Made Man

Fave BB experience?  Singing Self-Made Man Reprise in three part harmony. (Editor: A noted highlight for many!)

Most looking forward to BB 2018 season?  Reuniting with wonderful, talented cast.” – Ian Maurice, “Arthur Burns”

SPOTLIGHT on LINDA HALL (aka BB’s “Helen Burns”):


“Fave colour?  Purple

Fave food?  All things Chicken

What do I do to relax?  I sing to relax.

First time on stage?  I was 11 years old. I played Michael in Peter Pan in a school production.

Most embarrassing moment onstage?  Having a sneezing fit whilst singing “Baby It’s Cold Outside”!

Most fun on-stage moment?  Dancing as an old lady using a Zimmer frame in “The Producers”.

Do I relate to my BB character?  I play Helen Burns. I relate to this character in many ways. I too am a non confrontational person. Quiet spoken and mostly placid but I can find immense strength when needed to protect people I love. So Helen and I have a few things in common.

Fave BB song?   Of course Helen’s song “Photographs and Memories”.  This song has an emotional affect on me singing it and on the audience listening to it, so it ticks all the right boxes.

Fave BB experience?  Getting to work with the writers of the show! This never happens! To have them not just in the room, but teaching you the music and helping you bring their vision to the stage is just amazing.

BB 2018?  I am so excited to perform this role again and be a part of Billy Buckett 2018.  It means so much to me to not only be in the first full production of the show in 2013 but to be also in the show’s first professional staging next year.

I can’t wait to hit the stage again with my fave stage husband played by Ian Maurice.”  – Linda Hall, aka “Helen Burns”

SPOTLIGHT on ALLISON NIPPERESS​ (aka BB’s “Maureen”):

“Favourite Colour?  Red

To relax?  Watch TV while I try not to think of all of the things I should be doing.

First time on stage?  I was 12, playing Tessie in the Musical ‘Annie’. Seven years before this I was supposed to perform in a Ballet Concert but pulled out at the last minute because I was too shy… Believe it or not!

Most triumphant or most fun moment onstage?  The most fun would have to be the ‘sleep over’ scene in Grease (2010).  The friendships I forged with the Pink Ladies will outlast time.

BB 2013?  Being cast in BB 2013 as Maureen was the first time I had been cast in a major role. The Character description was the polar opposite of roles I had been cast in before so it felt good to be seen out of my ‘Nerdy’ stereotype.  She is everything you would want to be.  Fun, confident, loyal and fierce.  I would like to think I am all of those things…not sure about that though.  I have always wanted to get married in a red dress and she allowed me to see that dream become a reality!

Fave BB song?  Just one!!?  So hard!  I love Dynamo, She Believes In Me, Who Were You With? I like all the chorus numbers since they bring about the best memories of 2013. I loved the rehearsals despite my (lack of) dance talent!

Fave BB experience?  Singing alone on stage, whilst terrifying, was certainly a thrill. Being a part of something brand new and being able to show people this awesome new thing was also quite exciting.

Most looking forward to for BB 2018?  The hang time with the awesome cast. Showing more people this awesome Show. Rehearsals! Creating new memories. Bring on 2018!

Other thoughts?  Even though in BB I play a character who rides a motorbike, in real life, I can’t even ride a push bike.”
– Allison Nipperess, aka “Maureen”

SPOTLIGHT on DOUG RUMBLE (aka BB’s “Big Ted”):

“Fave colour?  Blue

Fave food? Roast Pork with Crackling

To relax?  Sculpting & watching Sci-Fi

First performed on stage?  Aged seven years, in my Primary School concert, playing The White Rabbit. I sang “I’m late” in a full bunny outfit and fell over… and yes a pic does exist of me in the costume. (Ed: see above!)

Biggest “fail” moment or the most embarrassing moment onstage?
While singing with the QLD Children’s Choir I managed to fall off the Lyric Theatre stage.. dancing has never been my friend.

Most triumphant moment onstage?  Singing Gethsemane as Jesus in “Jesus Christ Super Star”.

Role in BB?  I play Big Ted.  His character and humour were very close to my heart and it was a chance to get in touch with my Dad who lived in this world.  In fact, the “half-moon” pockets on Big Ted’s jackets are based on my Dad’s own clothes!  (Editor: Especially designed to order by BB’s Wardrobe Whiz Marg Oliver.)

Fave BB song?  Dynamo!

Fave BB experience?  Listening to “Feather on the Wind” (Editor: sung by Allison Nipperess as “Maureen”) every night from the wings.

Most looking forward to BB 2018? A chance to reunite with old friends and give audiences the absolute gift that is “Billy Buckett”.  It was a privilege to perform in this show in 2013 and it will be a tremendous treat to do it again in 2018.”

SPOTLIGHT ON IAN JOHNSON, BB’S Stage Manager/Set Designer:

“Fave colour?  It’s a combination of Peacock Blue and Congo Blue

Fave food?  Corned Beef

To relax?  Spend time at home (Editor: he doesn’t get to do it very often!)

First time on stage?  As a 16yr old in Redlands Revue, a scout and guide show. I played many characters, most notably a fairy at the bottom of the garden.

Biggest “fail” moment or the most embarrassing moment onstage?  I don’t go on stage all that often, although I did fall asleep once and woke up during the next scene. Apparently having a somewhat senile man servant interrupting a romantic moment for the leads was not in the Director’s vision.

Most triumphant or most fun moment onstage?  More so a combined involvement of building the set for Beenleigh Theatre Group’s “Noises Off” and then playing Garry in the same production. (Editor: The set itself was a masterwork and Ian’s lead-role performance was a tour de force. The man did all his own stunts too).

Most looking forward for the BB SunPAC season?  The challenge of recreating a show in a new space and combining that with the passion and energy of a vastly experienced team.

Other thoughts?  The chance to re-stage any production does not come along very often; to be able to share this experience with so many of the original team is a great opportunity.” – Ian Johnson, BB’s Stage Manager/Set Designer/Builder

SPOTLIGHT on KATE DAVIES (aka BB’s “Betty”):

Favourite colour?  Teal

Favourite food?  Mango – so delicious! Especially on a hot, summer day.

To relax?  Play the piano or watch television!

First time on stage?  During a ballet concert for the dance school I attended!  I believe I was around the ripe age of 4 years old. Unfortunately, I can’t recall if there was a theme or storyline to the concert… but I’m sure there would have been many dance styles involved!  I danced as a ‘doll’.  Cute, right?  I’m sure I danced like a ‘booooootiful ballerina’!  Or maybe I just stood there and waved to my parents who were in the audience.  Both are definitely a possibility.  Ha!

Biggest “fail” moment or the most embarrassing moment onstage?
In more recent times, in 2011 it was the opening night performance of ‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’. We were nearing the end of Act 1, when my foot ended up underneath a large, heavy moving set piece. Following a lot of pain and an x-ray the next day, we found out there were no broken bones! PHEW! I just had to R.I.C.E my foot at any moment possible, and had a very colourfully bruised foot for the remainder of the show season!

Most triumphant or most fun moment on stage?  That’s a tricky one! So many to choose from! But I’d have to say being a ‘Pink Lady’ in a production of ‘Grease’!  Not only was the show a HUGE amount of fun, but working and forming friendships with the other Pink Ladies was pretty special!

My role in BB?  I played the role of ‘Betty’, and am thrilled to be reprising my role in the 2018 production! She is such a sweet character, and I love that even though everything doesn’t seem to always run smoothly for her, she continues to dream big and stay true to herself!

Fave BB song?  ‘She Believes In Me’ – such joy!

Fave BB experience?  Performing to huge audiences every show was fantastic! But also, re-uniting with some of the cast later that year to perform at the Gold Coast Theatre Awards. What a buzz!

Most looking forward to for BB 2018?  Stepping back into the 50s (including wear the gorgeous styled clothes of the era!) and working with such a passionate theatre team yet again.

Other thoughts?  My 92 year old grandma’s name is Betty.
She loves that I play a character named ‘Betty’ and she enjoyed seeing the 2013 production of Billy Buckett!”  – Kate Davies, aka “Betty”

SPOTLIGHT on LACHLAN CLARK (aka BB’s “Marty”):

Fave colour?  Tardis Blue; I’m a massive Dr Who fan.

Fave food?  Mum’s Spaghetti Bolognese

To relax?  Kick back with a book or whatever the current video game craze is.

First time on stage?  It was a school musical at Whitsunday Anglican School in Mackay. I think I was 10.  The show was Go Noah Go.  I played Noah’s son, I think his name was Ham.

Biggest “fail” moment or the most embarrassing moment onstage?  I often end up on stage with my fly undone, it still happens at least once a season. (Editor: That’s left me wondering if it happened in BB!)

Probably the worst thing was completely forgetting where I was up to in a very long bush ballad I was singing once in front of a large crowd; the story is kind of the point of a bush ballad so it’s the worst thing to do. To this day I’m still not entirely sure if I repeated a bit or skipped a bit entirely.

Most triumphant or most fun moment onstage?  It would have to be during Buddy Holly.  (Editor: Lachlan did a brilliant performance in the role of Buddy in Phoenix Ensemble’s 2012 production).  Just playing live music in front of a crowd in the context of a biopic and seeing everyone enjoying the show was definitely a high point for me.

Who do I play in BB?  I play Marty, garage lad and generally annoying bloke.  (Editor: Lachlan also played Marty in the Phoenix Ensemble rehearsed reading of BB in 2012 as well as in the 2013 Beenleigh Theatre Group production).

Fave BB song?  Self-Made Man

Fave BB experience?  Seeing the process of the show go from rehearsed read-through to a full community theatre production to now a professional show. The evolution I’ve seen in the show has been amazing.

Most looking forward to for BB 2018?  Bringing the show to a wider audience and having my first crack at a professional show.”
– Lachlan Clark, aka “Marty”

SPOTLIGHT on ROW BLACKSHAW (aka BB’s Assistant Director, Ensemble/”Betty” understudy):

“Fave colour?  Blue

Fave food?  There isn’t a lot of food that isn’t my favourite, it makes me happy.

To relax?  I like to spend time with good company or paint. Sometimes I paint among good company, always a recipe for a good time.

First time performed on stage?  Four years old in the Nativity of Jesus. I played an angel. As I was four, I touched my halo a lot and smiled proudly at my mum.

Biggest “fail” or most embarrassing moment onstage?
Back when I was in the ensemble of the world premiere of Billy Buckett my friend thought it would be a great idea to spice things up and decided to whisper really inappropriate things to me while smiling in character.  Naturally I joined in on the fun, we kept it going until we received director’s notes about being clearly heard!  We had no idea and the stuff we were saying wasn’t for the faint hearted.

Most triumphant or most fun moment ever had onstage?  Definitely would have to be playing Lefou in Beauty and The Beast. It was 2010 and was my very first musical, so naturally I still hold it close to my heart.  My best friend played Gaston and on a show night he randomly decided to push me off stage.  The show started my acting bug and taught me so much about myself.  I had so much fun up there.

BB 2013?  I played a “Judy” and understudied “Betty”.  I learned so much through that experience.  It was my first ensemble role so I decided to create my own character journey.  I was called Kate White and was trying to reach a boy to give him a letter before he flew off to America.  I missed him at the airport in “What’ll I Do”.  I related to Betty’s compassionate nature.

Fave BB song?  That’s a no brainer.  Self-Made Man Reprise.  Even thinking about that song now gives me goose bumps.  When we performed in 2013 I would run side stage and feel the 3-part male harmony flow through me.  It was plain magic.

Fave BB experience?  I have so many. Offstage: I met Lauren Lee and Sammy Ge in the show, two of my now dearest friends.  I got to share my love and passion for theatre with a group of genuine people who I respect, that was refreshing.

Watching Cath and Jay, the creators, produce work together as a power couple made me believe that true love does exist.

Fave on-stage BB experience would have to be performing “Restless”, a high energy number which included the whole ensemble pleading for a brighter life.

BB 2018?  I am excited to take this show to the next level because the story of Billy Buckett needs to be shared.  It is so hard to have original work make it, but I know this show has the professional quality that will draw in the world – given the chance.

Other thoughts?  Pimples is my favourite character in the show. He is incredibly loveable.”  – Row Lea Blackshaw, Ensemble Member/”Betty” Understudy and Assistant Director

SPOTLIGHT on JERMIA TURNER (aka BB’s “Shirley”):

“Fave colour?  It comes in waves and fluctuates between red, blue, green and yellow.
Fave food?  Watermelon ☺️
What do I do to relax?  Hahahah what’s that? I do like to hang out with my dogs whenever I can though.

First time on stage?  I have photos of when I was very young, dancing at school so I assume it was then but the first time I remember playing a part on stage was as “Juliet” in a song for our grade 6 graduation performance and I was dreadful haha. I had to pretend to be in love but I was so upset that my costume didn’t fit that I didn’t smile at all. What a rotten Juliet.

Biggest “fail” moment or the most embarrassing moment ever onstage?  Funnily enough it was in the world premiere of BB. I decided that wearing one of those sticky bras might’ve been a good idea to help with quick changes but I was wrong. During “Restless” (the one song where Shirley and Betty take the lead) my bra decided to completely un-stick and flapped around in the bottom of my shirt for the entire dance – that scene also then goes on to another 2 songs before I got to actually exit the stage.  What a mess.

Most triumphant or most fun moment onstage?  I’ve had so many incredible moments in theatre that I can’t put it down to one triumphant moment. I’d say one of the most fun things I’ve done though, is that I got to share the stage with a live goat during Dinkum Assorted and took him home over the weekends between shows. We were great pals.

Role in BB?  I play Shirley. I guess I can relate to Shirley in the frustration of being restless or cooped up. Longing for change and something new instead of being caught up in a “one horse town”. I also throw tantrums from time to time 😇.

Fave BB song?  Ooohhhh maybe … oh gosh it’s so hard. Self-Made Man, Dynamo or Restless?  All of the songs are so good!

Fave BB experience?  Can I say Jay Be’s soup? Hahah. The entire original cast bonded, we were a family. Very few shows truly bond and mesh as harmoniously and BB did and it was just so special for everyone.

Most looking forward to for BB 2018?   I’m looking forward to the challenges of getting an entire show on its feet in such a short amount of time and making new memories with old and new friends, I honestly can’t wait!  Billy Buckett was such a fun show and there’s a reason it received so many awards and nominations at the Gold Coast Theatre Awards from its premiere.  It’s only going to get bigger and better and I’m so thankful to be a part of it.”  – Jermia Turner, aka “Shirley”

SPOTLIGHT on BRIAN GARNHAM (aka BB’s “Solomon Goldstein”/Ensemble)

“Fave colour?  Blue
Fave food?  Chicken Alfredos
First time on stage?  Five years old in the Grade 1 school musical.  I played an old man.  The only thing I remember about it was that I had a very distinctive voice that other kids made me repeat over and over.

Biggest “fail” or the most embarrassing moment onstage?  During my last show I accidentally fell on a prop gun and the stock broke.

Most triumphant or most fun moment onstage?  Everytime I can be so comfortable with my preparation that I can lose myself in the character I’m playing are my most fun moments on stage.

Role in BB?  I play Solomon Goldstein, Billy’s manager. Goldy always seems to me to revel in the excitement of show business.

Fave BB song?  It’s hard to pick one, but I think Feather on the Wind edges all others out.

Fave BB experience?  Self-Made Man Reprise. So fun. Everytime. 🙂

Most looking forward to for BB 2018?  Billy Buckett was an amazing experience for me and working on the show again has me incredibly excited. So… all of it.”  – Brian Garnham, “Solomon Goldstein”/Ensemble)

SPOTLIGHT on SOPHIA DIMOPOULOS (BB’s newest cast-member, Ensemble and “Maureen” understudy):

“Fave colour?  Tiffany’s blue (Aqua/Teal)… right now. It definitely changes from day to day!!

Fave food?  Lasagna, Nonna’s is really hard to beat!

To relax?  Relax on the couch and watch a good TV show!

First time on stage? I do remember performing in ballet concerts as a mouse and a tear drop in Cinderella! I would have been really young then, maybe around 5!

Biggest ‘fail’ or the most embarrassing moment on stage? Forgetting my lyrics in the middle of a school concert and just humming along instead (It’s not happened again!)

Most triumphant or most fun moment on stage? I’ve had so many! Performing in Carnegie Hall with the Olivia Newton-John and the Australian Girls Choir and receiving a standing ovation. That was a really special moment. I also really love hearing people’s enjoyment after a show. It’s an amazing feeling when someone tells you that your performance was something that they will treasure.

Most looking forward to BB 2018?  Having the opportunity to bring such a fun, energetic and beautiful show to life with the lovely and talented people in the show.

Other thoughts?  I moved to Brisbane from Adelaide in 2014. Throughout the time I have been here, I have heard numerous times from numerous people that Billy Buckett was of the best productions that they’ve been involved in/seen. I am so grateful to be given the opportunity to perform alongside everyone in the show and already feel as though I am a part of this amazing family. <3″

– Sophia Dimopoulos, Ensemble/”Maureen” understudy