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Wanneroo Times - - News - Tanya Mac­Naughton

Wild­cat leg­end’s son Sky­lar El­lis passes on bas­ket­ball suc­cess to chase stage dream.

WITH bas­ket­ball in his blood, Skyler El­lis was on his way to sport­ing great­ness when he had to make a life-chang­ing de­ci­sion.

The son of Perth Wild­cats leg­end Mike El­lis and brother of bas­ket­ball player Cody grew up sur­rounded by the sport and rep­re­sented WA in na­tional tour­na­ments.

“I thought I was go­ing to stick with that un­til I was in Year 12 and I au­di­tioned for the school mu­si­cal and was ac­cepted,” El­lis, who grew up in Sor­rento, said. “And then I also got into the state bas­ket­ball team again; they con­flicted and I had to choose one.

“I did the full Zac Efron in High School

Mu­si­cal thing and went with act­ing and didn’t look back. My dad was ac­tu­ally coach­ing the state team as well and my un­cle was as­sis­tant coach­ing, so you can imag­ine how hard it was de­cid­ing not to do that. “But it was what I wanted to do and my par­ents and rest of my fam­ily were re­ally sup­port­ive.”

El­lis stud­ied for two years at WAAPA be­fore be­ing ac­cepted in to NIDA in 2012 and has been based in Syd­ney ever since.

The 26-year-old is star­ring as the Gruf­falo, Preda­tors and Nar­ra­tor in CDP’s cur­rent tour of The Gruf­falo’s Child,

based on Ju­lia Don­ald­son’s book, at Heath Ledger The­atre, Novem­ber 21 to De­cem­ber 2.

El­lis said he was fa­mil­iar with the chil­dren’s book thanks to his five-year-old nephew in Perth, Chase, who adored The Gruf­falo, The Gruf­falo’s Child and Room on the Broom,

which he was in a 2017 pro­duc­tion of.

“The show fol­lows the Gruf­falo’s Child as she jour­neys to ex­plore the deep, dark wood af­ter not lis­ten­ing to her dad, The Gruf­falo,” El­lis said. “She con­fronts a few preda­tors that don’t seem to be very nice and trick her in to think­ing she’s go­ing to find a big, bad Mouse.”

El­lis said he had to be match fit to meet the de­mand of the non-stop 55minute pro­duc­tion fea­tur­ing a cast of three.

“We’re all su­per busy and if we’re not do­ing a dance num­ber, we’re nar­rat­ing or putting pup­pets up,” El­lis said.

“It’s a work­out and we don’t have to go to the gym while we’re in this show.”

Madison He­garty, Skyler El­lis and Jade Pask­ins star in The Gruf­falo's Child at the Heath Ledger The­atre.

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