Currently playing Malvolio, the actor’s performing career began as a child, singing whenever he got the chance.

An only child: quite fat, freckled and cross-eyed; not the leader of a gang or even in a gang, but I could sing, and that was my escape (that and swimming). And I did sing; at family gatherings around the piano in the back room, at funerals and weddings (many Ave Marias and Panis Angelici in the choir loft), at school concerts (my eye patch useful for a Pirate King), on Uncle John’s Children’s Hour on 2SM, and especially in the school choir. I led the seconds. We sang mainly ballads, but mostly

I remember the beautiful liturgical music.

It was the age of concerts and Eisteddfods and I loved it all. My finest hour at a school concert was to do the vaulting horse and then lead the choir in Pretty Polly Perkins– memorable because, being at the back, I escaped the consequences when a fellow chorister vomited over all the others. Music has always been a visceral experience for me.

I remember being taken to the Sydney Town Hall when I was quite little. I always loved the rich reverberations of that...

This article is available to Limelight subscribers.

Log in to continue reading.

Access our paywalled content and archive of magazines, regular news and features for the limited offer of $3 per month. Support independent journalism.

Subscribe now