About

Simon ParrisI am a Melbourne-based theatre reviewer. I also travel extensively, reviewing shows in Sydney,  New York and London each year.

I reviewed for Theatre People for eight years,  establishing coverage of professional music theatre, opera and ballet productions for the site. I reviewed theatre for the Sunday Herald Sun for two years, until their review department closed.

I served on the Music Theatre Guild of Victoria Committee for five years as Treasurer, and was on the Board of The Opera Studio Melbourne for four years.

I have appeared in around 40 productions over the past thirty years. Favourite roles include Eugene Fodor in Crazy for You, Mr Fox in Mack and Mabel, Max in The Sound of Music, Freddy in My Fair Lady, Julio in Paint Your Wagon, Marcellus in The Music Man and Grantaire in Les Miserables.

I have directed and/or choreographed about a dozen secondary school productions. Highlights include directing the Australian premiere of Jason Robert Brown’s 13 at the Malthouse and choreographing Urinetown at the Athenaeum Theatre.

12 replies »

  1. Hay Mr. Parris, Caleb and Andre here. You’ve been hiding so much from us. So successful. But this holiday has been so mundane and joyless without your presence. I don’t know how we’ll get through next year without your fun and engaging lessons.

    On behalf of your fantastic maths class, good blog 🙂

    • Hey Caleb and Andre, I wasn’t hiding this from you – you knew all about it!
      Don’t know how I’ll cope without you all while you’re away across the Yarra.
      You won’t miss me – you get to have kebabs on the way to and from school every day now!
      See you there when I come across for musical auditions and rehearsals!

      • Sir you just made my day. We look forward to working with you while we take lead role in next years musical. We hope your blog goes viral.
        Yours sincerely, Andre and Caleb (your two favourite students)

  2. Simon, I was talking to a friend ( Jakki Gibson ) whose brother Jacob Gibson is working on Singin in the Rain. Jakki was reading the reviews and came across your review . Jakki and Jacob both went to Marian. Jakki remembers you from school. I am not surprised that you are in theatre. You were destined to be around actors. Cheers Donna

    • How lovely to hear from you Donna. I’m impressed with Jakki’s long memory! Singin in the Rain is a fantastic production – Jakki should get you tickets. Hope all is really well with you. Best wishes, Simon

  3. Hi Simon,
    Stumbled across your Carols by Candlelight tweet. You may remember that I sat next to you for a year or so at Mt Lilydale before you moved to St Michael’s (or was it St Kevin’s?) Are you still teaching or have you moved fully into theatre reviewing? I have been at Ringwood Secondary College for 10 years. Not having your talent, I have headed the makeup team for all our productions. Hope you are well.
    Regards,
    Donna MacKinnon

    • Donna! I should have replied immediately when you first left this comment. Thanks so much for making contact. I went on to St Michael’s and have since moved to St Kevin’s. Running Productions and still teaching Maths (and Chemistry). Glad to hear you are involved in your school’s shows too. Best wishes, SIMON

  4. Hi Simon. just saw your name under a pic of CARMEN. I have a friend whose grandchild is in the show. small world. I hope you are well and happy! Di de Munk

    • Lovely to hear from you Di. I hope all is well with you. Carmen is a wonderful production and the children’s chorus is excellent. I love the way the arts brings so many people together.

  5. Simon – interested in your views on the list of new musicals for Melbourne in 2017/2018. Mostly revivals. Brigadoon should be interesting and Beautiful has been well reviewed but it would be great to see something less predictable than the mix ahead.

    • You are right about the number of revivals, Rob.
      Brigadoon is a real charmer, and o am looking forward to seeing it back on stage again.
      I feel a bit disappointed to have Mamma Mia!, Priscilla and Jersey Boys all coming back. These have all been well exposed here already but meanwhile there are any number of new Broadway musicals not seen yet.
      The revival of Evita is the one I am most excited about – I really love that show.
      Beautiful and Dream Lover are both great for nostalgia for audience members of a certain age, though they are not necessarily my favourite type of musicals.
      Independent companies take more of a chance, e.g. Memphis coming up soon at StageArt, but hoping to see some other local premieres announced in the upcoming months!

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