THERE was never any doubt Tamworth’s Rob McDougall was going to make it big in the musical world – but no one expected this.
Mr McDougall will play Lesgles in the ensemble and be the understudy to Hayden Tee who will play Javert in the 2014 production of Les Miserables, which opens in Melbourne next year.
There was always a niggling doubt he wouldn’t make it into professional musical theatre, so he’s relieved and excited to get this role.
But he’s had to negotiate six rounds of auditions to get it.
“I said for many, many years that I thought if I got into something, it would be something like Les Mis,” he said.
He triedout with about 300 others to score the roles and said he was “incredibly lucky”.
“It’s a very attractive cast and a very young cast,” he said.
“Because of the stature of Les Mis, no one has been picked because they were famous. The lead cast is the best of any musical I’ve seen. It’s very exciting.”
Mr McDougall and his family found out about the role five months ago, but have had to keep it a secret until now.
“Mum spent a while crying,” he said.
“There’s been a lot of support. I’ve invested a lot of time and money and, most importantly, other people have invested time and money.
“There was that persistent voice that kept asking what was going to happen if I didn’t get into professional musical theatre, so my first reaction was relief.
“We’ve all wanted to scream it from the rooftops.”
The former Oxley High School student completed a bachelor of music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, then won a scholarship to go to New York and spent three weeks working with the masters of musical theatre.
“I’m back in Tamworth because the plan, before Les Mis, was to save money to go to New York. For the last year I’ve been performing throughout Sydney, so this is the first year I’ve had some freedom.”
Les Miserables starts rehearsals early next year, with the performances starting in June.
Before then, and his big professional break, McDougall will play the Phantom in Tamworth Musical Society’s production of The Phantom of the Opera later this month.