The Fame Reporter interviewed the glorious Queensland performer Sarah Morrison. She stars as Janice in the hit Broadway Musical ‘Come From Away‘ playing at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC in Brisbane from 26 March.
The Tony® and Olivier Award winning musical Come From Away tells the remarkable true story of thousands of stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland, Canada that welcomed them all. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.
We talked to Sarah about returning to the theatre, what she has learned from playing her real-life character, what she loves about the Queensland theatre scene and more.
Welcome to The Fame Reporter Sarah, what is the most exciting aspect of finally returning to the theatre, particularly for ‘Come from Away’?
I am grateful for every day I get to come to work at Come From Away. Playing in Victoria was amazing especially as Victorians put in such an incredible effort to pull through the second lockdown and I cannot express how happy I am to be back doing what I love and now heading to Queensland to perform the show.
What enticed you to audition for ‘Come from Away’ and did you see the show before it opened in Australia?
I was playing Sophie in Mamma Mia at the time I was auditioning for Come From Away. I didn’t get the chance to see the show before I auditioned but I did before I was offered the role.
I love that I get to play lots of different people in this show, it’s very unique for all the actors in that way.
What has been the most rewarding and challenging parts about performing in ‘Come from Away’?
I love accent work so one of my favourite parts about this show is getting the chance to learn new accents. My favourite is definitely the Texan Flight Attendant, she a lot of fun. The most challenging part are my lines sometimes because they come right out of left field or act as the connective tissue between moments. Lots of time stamps and dates to remember!
What do you love about your character Janice and what did you learn about her story?
I love that Janice sort of glues the show together through her ‘on air’ delivery and also her more vulnerable moments, speaking candidly about how she is struggling with her new job under such extreme circumstances.
Janice has a wonderful arc and I can absolutely relate to her desire to succeed and do a good job!
How has the rehearsal process been during this time?
I have loved having the opportunity to return to this material, especially after such a challenging time and use that experience to add more depth to the show and reconnect with all the wonderful actors, musicians and crew.
How has being part of ‘Come from away’ impacted you?
Being a part of Come From Away has been an incredible gift and one that I am very grateful for. I have grown as an artist and learnt so much from the wonderful creative people I have worked with along the way.
Having the opportunity to play real people and meet them in real life feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity!
What 3 performers dead or alive would you love to have a dinner party with?
Patti LuPone, Ben Platt, Viola Davis
What do you love about the Queensland theatre community in particular?
The Queensland theatre community is where I grew up and there is an energy that is unique to Brisbane. The public always come out in a big way to support artists and that is palpable on stage! I am so excited to see how Brisbane receives this show.
This show is very special and a lot of people around the world have their own story to share related to the events of 9/11, what do you believe this show reveals about this devastating event in history and why do you think audiences should attend the show?
This show demonstrates that in a difficult and troubling time all we have is each other. This past year goes to show that when we wear a mask, wash our hands and stay a safe distance away we are putting others first and protecting the collective.
The parallels between what happened twenty years ago and what we are living through today aren’t hard to miss. I think this show will bring hope to anyone who watches it or needs that lift that only live theatre can give.
Fame Reporter Word Play
Come from Away
I honestly have no idea. Koala bear?
Ladies in Black
Go-to Karaoke song
Total Eclipse of the Heart.
Any secret talents
Folding a fitted sheet.
Favourite song right now
I Believe – Yolanda Adams.
Dressing Room necessity
Blank cards and envelopes. So handy!
It always changes but I do love listening to Waitress or Jesus Christ Superstar.
Berocca or Banana.
Carrie Mulligan and Jareth the Goblin King.
Favourite song you sing in Come from Away
Somewhere in the Middle of Nowhere.
Place you want to travel to
Favourite song you don’t sing in Come from Away
TV Show Binge
Finally, favourite thing about performing
Putting on a costume and wig.
All photos – Supplied