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quarie Con­ser­va­to­rium for clas­si­cal vo­cal train­ing un­der the guid­ance of the late Dawn Walsh and took part in many lo­cal clas­si­cal con­certs and Dubbo Theatre Com­pany (DATS) pro­duc­tions.

De­spite hav­ing her singing and act­ing tal­ent down pat, Ms Palin wasn’t so con­fi­dent in her dance abil­ity – a must-have skill for triple-threat mu­si­cal theatre per­form­ers.

That was, un­til a trip to Lon­don gave her the courage to back her­self.

“I went to Lon­don for a month in my gap year with the Young Re­gional Artist Award I re­ceived,” she re­called.

“I went over there and did a lit­tle mu­si­cal theatre course and saw Les Mis on the West End and then went, oh my god, this is it, I’m just go­ing to do it, even though I can’t dance.

“I’m so blessed to have all that clas­si­cal train­ing, I mean I don’t think I re­alised it at the time when I was 13 and singing clas­si­cal songs, but those foun­da­tions have been amaz­ing.”

Now per­form­ing eight shows a week, Ms Palin plays Ralph Rack­straw along­side some of the coun­try’s lead­ing artists in­clud­ing opera singer To­bias Cole.

For this show, di­rec­tor Kate Gaul has put a “re-imag­ined, gen­der-bend­ing, hy­per-the­atri­cal and kink” twist on the Gil­bert & Sul­li­van clas­sic.

“I’m play­ing the lead male role, the young love in­ter­est of the show tra­di­tion­ally, but in this show the di­rec­tor de­cided to gen­der swap a few of the lead char­ac­ters, so it’s fan­tas­tic and hi­lar­i­ous,” Ms Palin laughed.

“It is all very gen­der fluid; the ladies have mous­taches and we have all crazy drag makeup on and some of the boys have re­ally long hair and they put it in pony­tails.”

A re­view of the play in The Aus­tralian de­scribed Ms Palin’s per­for­mance as a “bril­liant pro­fes­sional de­but”.

Speak­ing about the end­less au­di­tions and in­evitable re­jec­tion in­volved in the arts, Ms Palin uses her home­town as a place of so­lace.

“Some­one once told me to go into au­di­tion with the mind­set of ‘this is what I have to of­fer, this is what I can do and I’m just go­ing to show that to you as a friend’,” she said.

“It’s more about think­ing that you are help­ing them (cast­ing di­rec­tors), they want you to be the per­son for the role so they can stop look­ing for it, so it’s less of a ‘what do you want me to do’ and more of a ‘here, this is what I can do and if that suits what you are look­ing for, great, and if not, then see you’.

“Some­times it’s eas­ier said than done, but then I love to go back to Dubbo and just have a re­set for a cou­ple of days and just get away from ev­ery­thing and out of Syd­ney for a minute and then come back and start again; I’m very lucky that I can do that.”

H.M.S Pi­nafore is play­ing at the Hayes Theatre un­til De­cem­ber 14.

Tick­ets are avail­able at www.hayesthe­atre.

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