Having spent eight months in lockdown in London, Clontarf’s Thomas Armstrong Robley is thrilled to be back on the Redcliffe Peninsula – and even more excited to be hitting the stage for the Redcliffe Musical Theatre production of Jersey Boys.
“We’re very lucky compared to a lot of places in the world,” Thomas says.
“I was at sea (performing on cruise ships) when the whole (COVID-19) thing exploded and it was safer to fly to London than get flights to Australia.”
When he returned in December, Thomas completed quarantine before hitting the ground running with Christmas performances.
Jersey Boys will be his first musical with Redcliffe Musical Theatre in more than five years and he is combining the role of Tommy DeVito with directorial duties.
Since leaving the Peninsula, Thomas has forged a successful musical career, much of it bringing to life the music made famous by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on a cruise liner touring the Greek Isles.
He also wrote and performed the production Live at Franki’s, featuring the music of Frank Sinatra and Frankie Valli.
“Directing and being on stage was not a position I was particularly comfortable with, but now I can’t see myself not being in the show,” Thomas says.
“There are very few shows I would be comfortable to play in and direct.”
Thomas says audiences can expect a swag of favourites such as Big Girls Don’t Cry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, My Eyes Adored You and Sherry.
“It’s a very relatable story – it’s appropriate at the moment because it’s about people overcoming the odds.
“It’s about four guys who didn’t have any prospects or hope, but by grit and talent they made it.”
Thomas says DeVito’s role in the Four Seasons was not dissimilar to own in Jersey Boys.
DeVito was the band’s lead guitarist and unofficial leader off-stage as well, while Thomas fills the leadership role of director off-stage and lead guitarist while performing.
“It comes down to having to be organised and surrounding yourself with a team you can trust.”
Thomas relishesd the chance to spend time in his hometown again.
“When I stepped off the plane I had an overwhelming sense of peace.
“I’ve been performing I Still Call Australia Home for years and while I understood what the song was about, it’s taken on a whole new meaning.”
Jersey Boys is on at the Redcliffe Entertainment Centre on March 12 (7.30pm), 13 (2pm and 7.30pm), 14 (2pm), 19 (7.30pm), 20 (2pm and 7.30pm and 21 (2pm).
Tickets are $55 for adults, $47.50 concession, $40 child, $160 for families and $45 per person for groups of 10 or more.
Phone 3283 0407 or click here to book.
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