KING STAR SPREADS HIS WINGS
The last time Cameron Goodall trod the boards of a Brisbane stage, he starred in Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet at QPAC.
Seven years later, he returns as Zazu, the cheeky hornbill, in the musical The Lion King, which features a 51-strong cast along with 24 musicians performing African-inspired songs and 232 colourful puppets.
On the surface, the two productions appear poles apart.
But Cameron says there are obvious parallels.
“The Lion King is totally like Hamlet because the basic storyline is that of a relationship between a father and son,’’ he says.
“The father dies and the usurper takes the crown, even though he is not the rightful king. But then, Hamlet doesn't have the amazing African music and the incredible puppetry and costumes.”
The Bendigo-born 35-yearold initially auditioned for the role of villain Scar, the jealous brother of pride leader Mufasa.
“I had gone 100m down the street after leaving the audition and was talking to my brother on the phone when I got a tap on the shoulder and asked if I wouldn't mind coming back to audition for Zazu,” Cameron says.
Zazu is Mufasa's right-hand “man” with the stuffy air of an English butler.
Cameron had to learn puppetry for the role, because the audience will see both actor and puppet simultaneously.
“I have control over the eyelids and beaks and wings and can manipulate the body,” he says. “The puppet is so lovingly handcrafted. Each feather is handmade and is so intricate and beautiful and detailed.”
Cameron has a long history on stage, having started the blues and roots group The Audreys with his brother Tristan.
His father ran a booking agency for wedding and party musicians.
Aussie Cameron Goodall as Zazu.