Mamma Mia ac­tor is reach­ing for the Sky

Central Leader - - NEWS - By RACHEL STURGES

It is hard to be­lieve Rory Nolan was only 6 years old when Mamma Mia first pre­miered on Lon­don’s West End stage 15 years ago.

Now the 21-year-old law stu­dent is about to play one of the lead roles when the mu­si­cal opens at The Civic in March.

Mr Nolan plays Sky, the fi­ance of the young fe­male lead. He says this ver­sion of the mu­si­cal will be dif­fer­ent to all the other pro­duc­tions that have ap­peared through­out the world.

‘‘It’s the first time it’s an all-New Zealand cast and it’s an en­tirely new brand with new stage de­sign and cos­tumes,’’ he says.

Mr Nolan is not fol­low­ing the usual path of a young, strug­gling ac­tor wait­ing on ta­bles to make ends meet.

While study­ing law at Auck­land Univer­sity and jug­gling Mamma Mia re­hearsals he has also been in­tern­ing at a large city law firm.

‘‘I’ve been find­ing it quite a chal­lenge this sum­mer. Work­ing to 6pm, re­hearsals at 7pm, get­ting home at 10.30pm.’’

He says al­though he was ‘‘re­ally into mu­sic’’ as a St Kentigern Col­lege stu­dent, the singing and act­ing bug did not take hold un­til Year 11 and he ‘‘au­di­tioned ran­domly’’ for a part in the school pro­duc­tion of Je­sus Christ Su­per­star.

Al­though a few more ma­jor singing roles have landed in his path since then, he is real­is­tic about a singing and act­ing ca­reer in New Zealand.

‘‘I think I’ve al­ways wanted to be a singer but the re­al­ity of mak­ing it into a ca­reer in New Zealand is prob­a­bly quite limited. At the mo­ment I like bal­anc­ing law with singing on the side.’’

The ‘‘up­beat’’ role is a change from those he usu­ally plays.

‘‘I’m used to play­ing bad guys and darker roles.’’

He has also had to learn to dance, which has been a chal­lenge.

‘‘It’s in­tense chore­og­ra­phy need­ing a high level of fit­ness. But I’ve im­proved a lot over the past few months.’’

Mamma Mia is one of the big­gest mu­si­cals on stage and has been seen by more than 90 mil­lion people.

‘‘I think a New Zealand cast is just as ca­pa­ble of putting on the same qual­ity as an in­ter­na­tional show and I think it’s great people can see some­thing lo­cally pro­duced and know we can do it.’’

The show will be at The Civic from March 4. Tick­ets from tick­et­mas­ter.co.nz or phone 970 9700.

Photo: RACHEL STURGES

Ris­ing star: Rory Nolan plays Sky in the New Zealand pro­duc­tion of Mamma Mia.

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