Sigrid Thornton will star as Judy Garland in Peter Allen TV biopic
Diva Knows Best can also reveal that The Boy From Oz star Angela Toohey will provide singing vocals for the role of Liza Minnelli, while at present it is unknown whether a vocal performer will also be singing the role of Garland. We can only hope not. In the past, Divinyls star Chrissy Amphlett and Broadway star Isabel Keating have both played Garland in the stage musical adaptation of Peter Allen’s life, while Judy Davis lip-synced to Garland’s own performances for the TV movie Me and My Shadows: Life with Judy Garland. Australian music theatre star Rob Mills will play Peter Allen’s first performance partner Chris Bell. Bell joined Peter in the variety act The Allen Brothers, which performed widely throughout Australia in the 1960’s and eventually took Peter to Hong Kong. Mother and Son star Henri Szeps will play Allen’s manager Dee Anthony, while Nick Farnell has been cast as Allen’s father Dick Woolnough. Packed to the Rafters and Mental star Rebecca Gibney will play the role of Marion Woolnough, Peter Allen’s mother. Roles so far unannounced include Allen’s long term partner Gregory Connell, while we are yet to hear of the casting of multiple possible celebrity characters to be in the TV movie, including Olivia Newtown-John, Bette Midler and Bernadette Peters, the three performers all worked closely with the Australian throughout his career.
Joel Jackson will play the all important leading role of Peter Allen. Jackson graduated NIDA in 2013 and was later cast as the lead in the upcoming TV mini-series Deadline Gallipoli in which he will play a war correspondent, Charles Bean, opposite Bryan Brown, Charles Dance, Hugh Dancy, Rachael Griffiths, Ewan Leslie and Sam Worthington. Jackson is also an indie-rock singer and some of his original work can be found on Triple J Unearthed here. The gorgeous young actor is currently in rehearsals for this, the role of a lifetime and Shine Australia’s follow up to their global success story, INXS – Never Tear Us Apart. Peter Allen – Not the Boy Next Door will be directed by Gary Seet (The Code).
It is understood from New.com.au that the first table read of the projects script by Justin Monjo and Michael Miller was led yesterday by director, Seet, while on-location filming will commence in the coming weeks. Sources have already revealed to Diva Knows Best that the atmosphere on the set is electric as the cast prepare to play their host of inimitable characters. Australian icons and legends about to play Hollywood icons and legends. No doubt all eyes will be on Sigrid Thornton in the months to come. The formidable Australian actress makes an unexpectedly welcome addition to the cast in the role of Judy Garland, and more welcome yet the news that hers is one of the most significant roles in the TV movie. No doubt Garland fans worldwide will be eagerly awaiting their first look of the actress in character. It is understood that Peter Allen – Not the Boy Next Door will make its Australian TV debut in April this year. If its INXS predecessor is any measure of what’s to come, this will easily mark one of the big moments in Australian television for the year, and with the lead cast finally announced, it can only be hoped that a soundtrack will also be forthcoming along with a re-release of Allen’s own discography. More information from this project as it comes to hand – already a moment of serious gravitas for the Australian TV. With stakes high and a big year ahead for television, this unexpected treasure chest of Australian entertainment history is the one to watch.