Ray Meagher, the Australian actor best known for playing Alf Stewart in long-running soap opera Home And Away, is swapping Summer Bay for the West End this autumn as he joins the cast of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert The Musical from 30 September.
Meagher will play mechanic Bob in the tale of three flamboyant friends on a trip across Australia, a role he first played in the show’s Sydney production in 2007. He joins a London cast including Don Gallagher, Ben Richards and Olivier Thornton, replacing current Bob, John Bowe.
Meagher has enjoyed a 35 year career in film, television and stage, 22 of those years playing Alf Stewart in Home And Away, having appeared in the soap opera’s debut episode and remained a regular character ever since. His screen credits also include other popular Aussie hit series A Country Practice and Prisoner: Cell Block H. Earlier this year, he was awarded the Gold Logie Award for Most Popular Personality on Australian Television.
Like many a star of Australian soap operas, Meagher’s previous UK stage experience includes a number of pantomimes. In Australia he has worked with the Queensland Theatre Company and Adelaide Festival.
Priscilla Queen Of The Desert The Musical is based on the Oscar-winning film of the same name and follows two drag queens and a transsexual as they hop aboard a rickety old bus to make an extravagant road trip across the Australian outback.
The London production, which is packed with disco classics and fabulous Laurence Olivier Award-winning costumes, opened at the Palace theatre in March 2009, when it starred another star beloved for his days on an Australian soap opera, Jason Donovan. Donovan left the production earlier this year to be replaced by Richards.
Prior to Meagher’s premier London Priscilla performance, the entire show will take a break. There will be no performances between 6 and 19 September as the cast, crew and even the iconic bus recharge their outrageously colourful batteries.