'The Music That Makes Me Dance' - Jill Perryman and Kevan Johnston - Part 1

STAGES with Peter Eyers show

Summary: Australia's First Lady of musical comedy, Jill Perryman made her stage debut at the tender age of two when her parents were touring in White Horse Inn. Her first big break came whilst she was in the chorus of Call Me Madam when as understudy to Evie Hayes she was called upon to play the leading role. Jill went from success to success appearing in J.C.Williamson's South Pacific, Paint Your Wagon, The Pajama Game and Can Can. Further triumphs followed with legendary performances through a stellar career; No, No Nanette, Annie, A Little Night Music and The Boy From Oz. Kevan Johnston's hard work, early in life, studying all forms of dance under his mother Peggy Esler's tuition paid off, for when he auditioned for Call Me Madam, he landed the role of principal dancer. He impressed the directors because he was again made principal dancer for several other shows including Paint Your Wagon, Can Can and The Pajama Game, where he became one of Australia's first Fosse dancers alongside Tikki Taylor and Frank Sheldon, in the iconic Steam Heat number. Parallel careers as a choreographer and Television producer have also offered Kevan opportunities to contribute impressively to entertainment in Australia. The pair have managed careers which have offered them several opportunities to work together in productions. These have included Wallflowering, Carnival, The One Day of the Year, Annie and celebrated turns in the GFO national tour of Hello Dolly! - a theatrical gift which saw Jill in the role of Dolly Levi and Kevan leading the waiter's gallop as Rudy, in the famed Harmonia Gardens' sequence. Jill and Kevan are luminaries of the Australian stage; not only in musical theatre, but also with extensive credits in stage drama, television and film, across several decades. It was a super treat to catch up with them and I know you'll be delighted too, hearing them in conversation with recollections of a vast contribution to the Arts in Australia.