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after her first rehearsal.
“From the moment when we learnt the
first song I went home and said to my
husband, ‘Oh my goodness, this is going to
Please visit civictheatrenewcastle.com.au/whats-on.
This pur suit has seen Alicia r ise from
ensemble to leading lady, playing an arr ay of
characters including her personal favourites,
Eponine from Les Miserables and Belle from
Beauty and the Beast.
There are more characters she wants to
tick off too, if the chance arises, par ticularly
Elphaba from Wicked and Anna (not Elsa) in
a musical production of Frozen.
“ Playing Mar y Magdalene is interes ting,” she
muses, “an intriguing char acter I find. A
colour ful lady but there's much more to her
“ She’s quite genuine, especially in her love
of Jesus. She’s a loving, kind character. She
faces challenges in her life like all women. I
can identify with that.”
Like many women, Alicia is managing sever al
commitments simultaneously: to the musical,
her job as teacher at St Joseph’s Campus,
Lochinvar, and as a mother raising
“ It’s manageable when you love to do it. You
find ways of coping.”
She recalls the buzz of excitement she felt
IT’S GOING TO SOUND
Alicia Paterson is loving ‘becoming’
Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ
Regular contributor Siobhan Mc Alar y repor ts
on a Lochinvar teacher who’s won a coveted
Alicia Pater son, actress and music teacher,
will be ticking another character off her
bucket list of roles to play when the
National Theatre Company s tages Jesus
Christ Superstar at the Civic Theatre
“Mary Magdalene was on my list so I was
ver y excited to find I could finally do that,”
When the musical’s director, Chris Max field,
told her the good news he decided to
stretch her nerves just a little further, as if
both the audition and call-back hadn’t been
ner ve-racking enough.
“He called and made it sound like I was
unsuccessful, saying, ‘Look I’m really sorr y...
but we’d love you to play Mar y,’” she
Since November, ever y Sunday af ternoon
has been devoted to rehear sals, beginning
with singing. “It’s very physical, you have to
learn all the songs, adding in blocking. That’s
theatre talk for moving around the stage.
The final stage is bringing it all together with
costumes and the orchestra, led by musical
director, Greg Paterson.
“They’re putting the musicians on the stage.
It’ll be different having them so close.
" Some people think ‘Ugh, Jesus Christ
Superstar? No thanks, I’m not going to see
a churchy musical.' It’s a rock opera. There’s
a 40-piece orchestra and the cast – their
voices are spectacular. It’s going to sound
“Phenomenal” is also how she remembers
her fir st experience of musicals.
“It was Les Miserables in Sydney. I was seven.
Four year s later she stumbled across The
Sound of Music showing on T V.
“I was singing along to all the songs and the
next day Mum contacted the choir director
of my primary school.
“I cried when she told me; I didn’t want to
sing in front of her. But she made me do it
because she thought it was wor th pur suing.”
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