The Fame Reporter interviewed Australian theatre superstar Sarah Murr. She is starring as The Fairy Godmother in ‘Shrek the Musical’ – playing at QPAC’s Lyric Theatre until 14 February 2021.
Shrek The Musical, based on the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks film, brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favourite ogre to life on stage. This lavish multi-million dollar musical stars the ultimate fairy tale cast.
We talked to Sarah about reuniting with the Shrek cast, what she loves about the Queensland theatre community, how the show celebrates diversity and more.
What sparked your interest in performing initially?
I don’t have an exact answer for this because I don’t remember a time in my life when I haven’t been dancing or singing. It has sort of been a “this is my thing” from the start situation.
As a Queenslander what do you love most about now being able to perform a full live musical in your home state?
I just love Queenslanders! There’s something different about a Queensland audience. They’re vocal, they love a good laugh and they’re just super friendly.
What about ‘Shrek the Musical’ enticed you to want to be involved in it and what was your reaction when you found out you landed the role of Fairy Godmother?
When I found out I get to dress like a fairy as an adult and belt my face off I was ogre the moon! Pun intended.
This show is all about acceptance, diversity and celebrating your individuality. Which are all things I stand for as a human!
Do you have a role in theatre that you are dying to play?
There are so many! But I’d love to get my hands on Veronica in Heathers or Janis Ian in Mean Girls!
Please describe the music in Shrek for us?
The music in Shrek is so eclectic – each song is almost paying homage to a different style. The easiest way to put it is there is something for everyone!
What do you love about the Fairytale characters’ narrative in Shrek?
I love the fairytale creatures journey in Shrek in general! But the thing that really stands out to me is the way they come together to stand up to a bully. I find that empowering both as a performer and a human.
What have you learned about yourself and society whilst performing in this show?
I have learnt that you always have a community and you’re never alone. It’s easy to feel on the outer and to feel like you’re the only one going through tough times.
This show is that literal reminder that your people are out there. That translates straight from the page to society. Especially in this world of social media. It’s even easier to find your tribe.
How do you feel being part of one of only a few shows in the world that are able to perform right now?
It’s really a strange feeling! I feel so lucky and grateful but I also feel so much for all of the creatives out there that are still unable to do what they love. Especially my friends over seas.
What 3 performers dead or alive would you love to have a dinner party with?
Liza Minnelli, Elton John and Celine Dion! Tell me that’s not the most fun trio of dips you’ve ever heard.
As Fairy Godmother do you have a favourite line you say or moment in the show?
The Freak Flag number is one of my favourite songs in the show and my favourite line is from that song:
“All the things that make us special are the things that make strong!”
What is it like to be reunited with the cast of ‘Shrek the musical’ after such a long hiatus?
It’s been so beautiful to get back with this group of humans to finish off what we started. It’s almost been closure for us! Getting to actually close this show as a family.
You perform in a few other ensemble scenes in the show, which is your favourite and why (p.s we love Agnes)?
I love Agnes! Such a fun moment. I have really given her a back story, she rocks the mono brow and getting to scream is always fun!
I like making an audience laugh.
What do you love or admire about the Queensland arts or theatre community in particular?
The Queensland arts and theatre community are resilient. Over the years watching it grow and thrive has been so much fun. Especially seeing my friends start theatre companies and storm the stages!
What can people do to support the arts industry whom are struggling tremendously right now?
The Actors & Entertainers’ Benevolent Fund QLD is where it’s at. Their mission statement is literally to assist performing arts professionals experiencing hardship.
In this last year with Covid blowing up our industry the Benevolent Fund helped so many struggling creatives. Here is the link if you feel like supporting their great work: https://abfqld.com.au/support-us/
Why should Brisbane audiences come along and see Shrek at QPAC?
If you want a fun night at the theatre for everyone in the family – come and see Shrek!
It’s colourful, the costumes are beautiful, the music gets stuck in your head and how can you pass up the opportunity of seeing MISS Marchia Hines, Todd McKenney and Lucy Durack in the same show! Don’t miss out! ️
Fame Reporter Word Play
Jump out of a plane!
Favourite mantra when you are down
“Nothing can come of nothing” – King Lear
Any secret talents
Can cook a mean zucchini slice!
Savoury or Sweet
Best time of my life.
Just try and stop me
Dressing Room necessity
Can’t live without
My family and friends
Washington and Kate Miller Heidke!
Favourite Shrek song
Place you want to travel to? (when we can)
Australian theatre scene
Continue to be happy!
Fairy, Fierce and Fabulous!
TV Show Binge
Finally, favourite thing about performing
There is nothing I love more than sharing my passion, experiencing others’ and bringing joy to even just one person. It makes what I do so special.
Thank-you Sarah for joining us at The Fame Reporter and best of luck with ‘Shrek the Musical’ at QPAC this Summer!
All photos – Supplied