Schoolboy and star finally good Neighbours on stage

Richard Grieve as Bernadette, Jason Donovan as Tick and Graham Weaver as Felicia in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

Richard Grieve as Bernadette, Jason Donovan as Tick and Graham Weaver as Felicia in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

First published in News
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Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Witney and West Oxfordshire. Call me on 01865 425483

WHEN nine-year-old Cameron Duncan found out he was starring opposite Jason Donovan in an Oxford show, he didn’t even know who he was.

But as he gets ready to star opposite the Australian actor and singer at Oxford’s New Theatre for the second year running, he admits he can’t wait.

The Carterton schoolboy plays his son Benji in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, which began on Tuesday and closes on Saturday.

Former Neighbours star Donovan plays Tick, one of two drag queens who journey through the outback on Priscilla the bus with a transsexual.

St John The Evangelist Primary School pupil Cameron – eyeing a career in musical theatre – said: “I had such a great time last year.

Herald Series:

  • Cameron Duncan

“I rehearsed my lines and was quite nervous because I didn’t know what it would be like performing on such a big stage with a famous person like Jason Donovan.

“He was very helpful and even told me he gets nervous too.”

He shares the role with Joshua Hogan, nine, of Nettlebed and stars with ex-Hear’say singer Noel Sullivan, who alternates nights as Tick.

Mum Lisa, 43, a former Haven Holidays entertainer who is now a nurse, said: “Cameron didn’t really know who he (Mr Donovan) was because he was too young for Neighbours but I was like ‘oh my God, you’re going to be on stage with Jason Donovan’.

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“I was a bit jealous because I wanted to go on stage. But when we showed Cameron a picture of him and what he had done he was really excited.”

She admitted she was shocked about the adult content when seeing the 1994 film with Hugo Weaving as Tick and co-starring Guy Pearce and Terence Stamp.

Mrs Duncan said: “We explained what it was about to Cameron but because they keep him backstage he doesn’t hear any of the risqué comments. It would just go over his head anyway and the parts he’s in are really lovely bits with Benji’s dad.”

She is married to Andrew, 39, an RAF parachute jumping instructor, and daughters Georgia, 18 and Courtney, 13, want to be actresses.

Mr Duncan works at RAF Brize Norton and Mrs Duncan is a practice nurse at Bampton Medical Practice and Witney’s Nuffield Health Centre.

She added: “Cameron just loves being on stage performing. We’re very proud.”

Cameron also got to the last eight to be in the cast of the West End’s Les Miserables this year, attends Witney-based West Oxfordshire Academy of Performing Arts and has toured with Oxford’s Bizzkids Dance Company.

Academy principal Brian Conroy put Cameron forward for a London audition for Priscilla last year.

He said: “Cameron has got a lot of character so when the casting agency were asking for boys of his age and size, he was just ideal for the role.

“He’s got a lot of energy – he can sing, dance and even do an Australian accent so he’s perfect.”

Jason Donovan will star opposite Cameron tonight and on Saturday.

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