Puss In Boots Cast

Meet the talented cast and creative team from Puss In Boots, a modern take on the classic pantomime running at City Recital Hall Friday 12 January - Saturday 13 January.

You can also see a video of director Jo Turner introducing the cast members here.

Puss: Shari Sebbens 

At 19 Shari was one of ten young artists chosen for “SPARK”, the Australia Council for the Arts first theatre mentorship program. From there she was accepted into the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) where she completed a one year, certificate 3 course in Theatre. At the end of the year she auditioned for and was accepted into NIDA. Shari has always had a passion for Indigenous theatre and through her training and opportunities’ at NIDA and exposure to Sydney’s art scene she has (further) developed her love for Shakespeare and film and television.

Shari has starred in films including Australia Day, THOR: Ragnarok, OnO, Teenage Kicks, The Darkside and The Sapphires. She has performed in numerous plays with Sydney Theatre Company, Griffin Theatre Company, Belvoir Theatre Company, Malthouse Theatre Company and many more across Australia.

Harry: Jacob Warner 

Jacob’s theatre credits include: The Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet for Bell Shakespeare; On the Shore Of the Wide World at Griffin Theatre Company/Pantsguys; Snugglepot and CuddlePie for CDP Productions/Money Baa; Orfeo Ed Eurice for Spectrum Festival; Daylight Saving for Darlinghurst Theatre Company; and The Block Universe for Old 505. His television credits include Dr Feelgood and Sisters. His film credits include Hacksaw Ridge. He was nominated for Best Actor at the Sydney Theatre Awards 2016. Jacob is a member of MEAA.

The Ogre: Jay Laga’aia

Jay Laga'aia is a much-loved actor and children's entertainer. His film credits include Nim's Island and Star Wars, and television credits on Home and Away, Bed of Roses, Legend of the Seeker, Xena Warrior Princess and of course, Play School!
His musical theatre credits include the title roles of Mufasa in The Lion King and The Wizard in Wicked The Musical.
He has played Mufasa in The Lion King, The Wizard in Wicked The Musical, and performed in Children of the Sun with Sydney Theatre Company.
Jay has written and recorded four children's albums with ABC for Kids, and has performed with Queensland, Melbourne and WA Symphony Orchestrsa, and most recently the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
In 2017 Jay appeared in I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here on Network Ten, and on the new FOXTEL drama series, Fighting Season. He also completed filming on the fourth season of his children’s television show, Jay’s Jungle for 7TWO.

Princess Lil: Ayeesha Ash

Ayeesha was born in St. George’s, Grenada to parents of Grenadian and Maori heritage. Ayeesha was raised in Queensland and attended the Queensland Academy for Creative Industries, where she majored in acting. In 2011 Ayeesha began acting studies at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). Since graduating WAAPA Ayeesha has appeared in plays in Queensland and Sydney including The Players (Bell Shakespeare), Daisy Moon Was Born This Way (Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre), The Seagull (Now Look Here Theatre Co.), Rent (Hayes Theatre Co.) and Drift (Two Peas). In 2017 Ayeesha was a part of La Boite’s Assistant Creatives program and worked as Assistant Director on The Village.

In 2015 Ayeesha and Emele Ugavule co-founded Black Birds; a company which creates theatrical and non-theatrical work about the experiences of Women of Colour in Australia.

The King: Tony Llewellyn Jones 

Tony graduated from NIDA in 1971, and was invited to join the Melbourne Theatre Company. Over the next two years Tony appeared in productions including Tonight at 8.30, Mother Courage, The Cherry Orchard, How Does Your Garden Grow? and more. Tony returned to Melbourne Theatre Company for The Visit (2003), Life x 3 (2004), Realism (2009) and, most recently, North By Northwest (for MTC/Kay & McLean Productions). He has also appeared for Sydney Theatre Company in The Crucible, Saint Joan, Life After George, Corporate Vibes, Amigos, Metamorphosis, The Tempest, King Lear and Hayfever.  Most recently he played Colonel Pickering in the national tour of My Fair Lady (GFO/Opera Australia) directed by Dame Julie Andrews.  He has also appeared for Bell Shakespeare, Belvoir and Griffin theatre companies.  In 2012 Tony performed in the Australian tour of Yes, Prime Minister for Guild, Woods & Bryce Productions. 

Nora the Cook: Drew Fairley

Since graduating from the School of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong, Drew has worked internationally as an actor, writer and director.

Most recently Drew performed in Jack and The Beanstalk (Sydney Opera House / Rafaello Sanzio / Erth Visual Theatre Company), was writer-performer in Oh My God I’ve Been Kidnapped and I Hate what I’m Wearing – The Musical (directed by Liesel Baddorek), was singer/performer in Sirens (The Art Engineers in association with the Adelaide Fringe Festival), performed in Erths’ Prehistoric Aquarium (Adelaide Festival 2016), and played John in Life Without Me by Daniel Keene (directed by Cathy Hunt). Previously, Deathtrap (Darlinghurst Theatre Company) and Jack and the Beanstalk (directed by Chira Guidi) for Adelaide Festival 2015.

Director: Jo Turner

Jo is a director, writer and actor and graduate of the Ecole Jacques Lecoq.
Directing: Ruby’s Wish (Belvoir); Prison Songs (Darwin Festival); Avenue Q (Enmore Theatre); Deathtrap (Darlinghurst Theatre Company); The Graduate (Her Majesty’s Theatre Melbourne); Peter and the Wolf (Opera House); My First Time (Sydney Opera House); The Grief Parlour (Riverside Theatres); Fools Island (Sydney Theatre Company); Stolen (STC Ed); Cubbyhouse (Tamarama Rock Surfers); The No Chance in Hell Hotel (Darlinghurst Theatre Company); Don’t Stare too Much! (Darlinghurst Theatre Company).
Acting: The Merchant of Venice (Bell Shakespeatre); Hysteria (Darlinghurst Theatre Company); Railway Wonderland (NORPA); The Ugly One (Griffin); Ruby Moon, Thyestes, Howard Katz (Sydney Theatre Company); The 39 Steps (Kay and McLean); The Window (Arts Asia Pacific), Weather, Somewhere (Q Theatre); Emma’s Nose (La Boite); Plainsong (Black Swan); The Caucasian Chalk Circle (Belvoir).
Writing: Ruby’s Wish, Prison Songs, In a Heart Beat, The Window.
Awards: Phillip Parsons Fellowship 2017 (co-winner); STC Artist in Residence (2012); Ian Potter scholarship (1993). 

Set and Costume Designer: Stephanie Howe

Stephanie is a set and costume designer who works across theatre, circus and film. She is a design graduate from the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) as well as an arts graduate from the Australian National University (ANU). Stephanie has always been drawn to the performing arts because of its collaborative nature, its immediacy to audience, and its capability for powerful storytelling.

Recent theatre works include set and costume design for Animal Farm (Monkey Baa Theatre) and Flood (The Old 505 Theatre) and costume design for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (The Old Fitz Theatre). Her most recent work in circus includes set and costume design for Precipice (NICA).

Lighting Designer: Sophie Pekbilimli

Sophie graduated Newtown High of the Performing Arts in 2010 and spent four years of her schooling as an active member of the technical company run by David Ferguson, who’s career spans 30 years in the industry. She has spent the past few years designing shows for the Sydney Aerilize Theatre, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, The Pacific Opera and Arts Unit of NSW. Most of her time in Sydney is spent as a lighting programmer for venues like The Eternity Playhouse, Belvoir Street Theatre, Performance Space, Carriageworks, Griffin, City Recital Hall and NIDA.
In 2013 she was the 2nd Assistant Stage Manager for Belvoir Street Theatre’s Angels in America, which won the Helpmann Award for Best Play.

Musical Director: David Hewitt

David is an internationally renowned percussionist, vocalist, composer improviser, educator and multi-disciplinary performer who received his training in Australia, Japan and the USA. He was co-creator of the category-defying outfit ‘The Spaghetti Western Orchestra’, which has appeared internationally. David was previously a member of Synergy Percussion, and a founding member of Taikoz. He has worked with Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Dance Company, National Institute of Circus Arts, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, The Blue Grassy Knoll, Chamber Made Opera, Malthouse Theatre, SPEAK Percussion, The Song Company and APHIDS.

MUSICIAN: Jess Ciampa

Jess is a multi instrumentalist, at home in a variety of styles of music, ranging from orchestral through to jazz, Latin and commercial. He has performed with all the major Sydney orchestras, as well as ensembles such as Synergy Percussion and Sydney Dance Company. He is currently a member of the triple Aria award winning group Monsieur Camembert. For the past 29 years Jess has performed with several groups as part of the Musica Viva in Schools program. 

MUSICIAN: Daniel Pliner 

Daniel is a keyboard player and composer from Sydney. During the past few years he has toured to Brazil, Hong Kong, Japan, Germany, Lithuania, USA and around Australia performing original music with groups such as Barefoot Divas, Orkestra of the Underground, the Asthmatix and Dereb the Ambassador. In 2017 he released a solo instrumental EP under his alias PlaneFace, entitled Fishing From An Asteroid. His other current projects include the Sticks, Cardboard Heroes, the Strides and Camino. 

PERFORMANCE Dates:

Friday 12 January 10.30am
Friday 12 January 2pm - Auslan interpreted performance (For the best seats to see the Auslan interpreter, please email admin@cityrecitalhall.com or call 02 8256 2222)
Saturday 13 January 10.30am - Relaxed Performance (Click here for more information)
Saturday 13 January 2pm

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