FORMER Wodonga school boy Benjamin Colley is living his dream.
As the Pied Piper in Shrek The Musical now playing in Sydney, Colley said it was a joy to join the cast bringing the Broadway smash hit to the stage in Australia.
The former Catholic College Wodonga student discovered Shrek growing up on the Border.
"I remember watching the first movie on VHS; it was a green video cassette tape and I remember watching it over and over," he said.
"The stage production takes some lines from the film; at the audition I knew all of these lines because they were already in my head!"
The fairy-tale cast is led by Ben Mingay as Shrek, Lucy Durack as Princess Fiona, Todd McKenney as Lord Farquaad (in Sydney and Melbourne until March 30), Nat Jobe as Donkey and Marcia Hines as the Dragon (Sydney and Brisbane seasons, plus Melbourne season from March 18).
Colley said it was a privilege to work with such a gifted lineup.
"If you'd told me 10 years ago I'd be sharing the stage with Lucy Durack, I wouldn't have believed it," Colley said.
"Todd McKenny is hysterical; I've never seen him in a role I've loved more than this."
Colley said while the show was visually spectacular and had lots of laughs, the underlying theme was still the highlight.
"The thing I love most about the show is that it's got a beautiful message," he said.
"The message for young kids is that you don't have to be pretty and you don't have to be beautiful; the beauty is in everyone's differences."
An alumnus of the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, Colley cut his theatre teeth on the Border in plays by Albury Wodonga Theatre Company and Livid Productions.
"Musical theatre has always been my big passion," Colley said.
"I've always thought of myself as more of a singer but in Shrek, it's very much an acting role; there's lots of dialogue and I'm really loving it!"
Colley made his career debut with the Australian Shakespeare Company as Otter in The Wind in the Willows. Other credits include Treasure Hunt with Echelon Productions and Romeo and Juliet with Melbourne Shakespeare Company.
Most recently he appeared in the 40th anniversary production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, joining Anthony Warlow, Gina Riley and Debra Byrne.