ECHUCA’S Drew Walker is returning to the stage in another starring role — this time taking on the rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar.
The Echuca actor joined the Shepparton Theatre Arts Group (STAG) cohort as Elphaba in last year’s musical Wicked and is looking forward to tackling this year’s role of Mary Magdalene.
‘‘She’s actually my first type of womanly role,’’ Drew said.
‘‘Mary portrays Jesus’ lover, but she’s very nurturing like a mother and a sister. She was a prostitute and has been healed by Jesus and is infatuated with him.’’
Drew will join Kyabram’s Brandon Armstrong, who plays Jesus, who she worked alongside in Wicked.
The entire production uses song to convey the script with no dialogue, but Drew is no stranger to belting out a tune. She was a contestant on Australian television series X-Factor, where she made it to the top 10 female contestants after being involved with musicals since she was eight.
Drew became involved in STAG productions after doing a few shows with Echuca-Moama Theatre Company.
‘‘Echuca and STAG are like brother and sister, so some actors mix between the two,’’ she said.
Drew will present a more gritty version of Mary through costume, hair and make-up.
‘‘The style is going to be very rad; I’m going to have dreads in my hair,’’ she said.
The cast has started blocking scenes and working hard on character development, which Drew said was going well, despite needing a few tips on the story of Judas and his relationship with Jesus — the focus of JCS.
‘‘I don’t know much about Jesus at all,’’ she said. ‘‘I did my audition and got asked to have a call back, so I stayed in Shepparton with my friend whose Mum is a religious teacher and she helped me out.’’
This will be the third time STAG has staged Jesus Christ Superstar, which Kyabram director Tricia Deakin said would have a new flavour this time. Audience members are advised Jesus Christ Superstar contains adult themes and simulated violence.
Jesus Christ Superstar will be held from May 2-5. Tickets are on sale on STAG’s website.