Aussie Rowena lands theatre role

PUBLISHED: 15:10 13 March 2008 | UPDATED: 10:36 03 July 2010

FOR most people, auditioning for a major musical would be the last thing on their mind just three weeks after arriving in Great Yarmouth from Newcastle.

FOR most people, auditioning for a major musical would be the last thing on their mind just three weeks after arriving in Great Yarmouth from Newcastle.

But wait, that's Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, and that's precisely what Rowena Brown did, landing a leading role in the Gorleston Theatre Company production of 42nd Street.

For 26-year-old supply teacher Rowena, the audition was so spur of the moment that she had to borrow tap shoes from show director and choreographer Jayne King.

“My dancing shoes were back home in Australia and as soon as I saw notice of the audition I sent for them straight away but they just didn't arrive in time. I am grateful to Jayne for helping me out and lending me a pair.”

So what persuaded an Aussie girl to come to Yarmouth and become involved in the musical, which will be staged at the Britannia Theatre this May?

“I simply wanted an adventure, and the best way to do it was to travel. The bonus is that I am working at the same time, which helps pay the bills, so it really is the best of both worlds. I also love musical theatre so what a chance, to do what I enjoy and meet a host of people at the same time,” said Rowena.

Working through English-based agency Timeplan, who provide placement opportunities for foreign teachers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, Rowena chose Yarmouth as she did not want to be based in London or another large city, and plans to stay here for the next 18 months undertaking supply teaching to primary schools in the borough.

“The children can't make my accent out. When they find out I am Australian and from the land of kangaroos they are amazed, though many have no real concept of just how

far away my country


A fan of musical theatre from an early age, Rowena has appeared in many productions down under.

“I started with dance lessons at six years of age, acting at nine and took up singing lessons at 13. My first show was at the age of 10 in the fairytale Hansel & Gretel, and other performing highlights include Anything Goes and Call Me Madam, which was my first lead role.

“I just love performing and it's been great fun meeting new people from a diverse range of backgrounds here in Great Yarmouth. Everyone has made me feel so welcome,” said Rowena.

The all singing and all dancing musical 42nd Street will be performed at the Britannia Theatre at 7.30pm each evening from Thursday, May 22 to Saturday, May 24, with a matinee performance at 2.30pm on the Saturday.

Tickets are £12, £10 concessions and £8 children and are available on 01493 842209 or online at

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