REBORN TO RULE
Casey Donovan is back with a bang. She’s been idolised, mocked, celebrated and catfished, but there’s one role Donovan has never played – that of a villain.
That will change when the 2004 Australian Idol winner portrays the evil, music-hating Killer Queen in the new-look staging of Ben Elton musical We Will Rock You.
“She’s the ruler of the iPlanet, a villainess with a sexy, sassy, dominatrix side, who has prohibited musical instruments and rules with an iron fist,” the 28-year-old Donovan says. “She’s feisty and I love it … (she’s) all big heels and big hair.”
The theatrical ode to 1970s-’80s rock band Queen tells the story of young bohemians fighting to restore free thought and live music to the iPlanet.
This will be the second time the musical has been staged in Australia and for Donovan, it’s an excellent opportunity to return to the limelight after spending a few years off the radar.
“I suppose I have been finding my feet again, reassessing my career,” she says. “For the past four to five months I have actually been driving a community bus in Western Sydney for Aboriginal elders. I was planning to take this year off from singing, lie low and write an album, but then We
Will Rock You came through and it’s all falling into place again,” she says.
Donovan is a woman who seems to divide people – you either love her or you don’t. Regardless, there’s no denying she’s a ballsy artist, full of spirit and always keen to push boundaries.
Of her status as a larger performer, she says: “It’s always a challenge being the biggest person in the room but you just have to let that go and think, I can do this. All it takes is belief and a positive attitude.”
We Will Rock You will be the longest-running musical Donovan has appeared in (she’s also starred in Rent and The Sapphires) and it’s so far proving a formidable challenge.
“Musicals are such hard work but you’re always learning,” she says.
And as for her favourite Queen song? Donovan says she’s yet to settle on any one track. “But I’ve got to say, I do love Another One Bites
the Dust – it’s such a big and ballsy song.”