IN LOCKDOWN 3.0 in Melbourne singer and actor Esther Hannaford was crossing everything for things to return to COVID-normal.
She's already had a few false starts.
Even after tech rehearsals were done and dusted, shows have not gone ahead.
The musical theatre star said she had bookings for stage productions over the next six months, all things being equal.
Her return to the stage comes after a welcome foray into television, playing immuno-compromised Sophie in ABC's popular Retrograde TV show, which was filmed and edited under lockdown rules.
Hannaford said the role happened almost by chance.
She did a random audition just as Melbourne emerged from the first lockdown.
"I almost didn't go because I never get roles for TV," she said.
"Everything about it appealed to me; I feel it was something I was just meant to do!
"Sophie had health issues and I have a chronic health condition (Crohn's disease)."
Hannaford said the production was an organic process, whereby the script often simply evolved.
"It was fly by the seat of your pants stuff," Hannaford said.
"I'm used to it being in theatre; I just loved it.
"Then we raced towards Lockdown 2.0!"
For now Hannaford looked forward to starring in a new show, Carole King's Tapestry 50th Anniversary Tour.
Presented by Live Nation, it will tour nationally from April 15, coming to Albury Entertainment Centre on May 7.
As the award-winning star behind Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, Hannaford was a natural for the role.
Her knowledge of King happened almost by osmosis.
"Growing up you know the songs but not that one person is responsible for all of the hits that have been covered by so many people," she said.
Released on February 10, 1971, Tapestry hit #1 on the Billboard chart and remained there for 15 weeks.
It boasts timeless classics such as I Feel the Earth Move, So Far Away, You've Got a Friend, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and A Natural Woman.
The 50th anniversary tour will present Tapestry in its entirety as well as other King classics.
Hannaford will be joined by musical director and Jet bassist Mark Wilson; keyboardists Clio Renner and Louis Macklin; guitarist and vocalist Olivia Bartley; and drummer Pete Marin.
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