The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - SHOWS -

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.

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