Ten years ago, a young man moved from his home in Maitland to Sydney to begin work as an usher in the then newly opened Capitol Theatre during the season of Miss Saigon.
In the intervening years, that same young man broke into musical theatre, landing featured roles in seasons of The Boy From Oz, Mamma Mia and The Full Monty, as well as TV spots in Blue Heelers and Neighbours.
Now, David Harris is back at the Capitol Theatre for the first time since the end of Miss Saigon. And this time, it is not taking tickets or showing anyone to their seats. He’s centre stage in one of the starring roles of the musical classic, Fiddler on the Roof.
I have finally got from one end of this building to the other, Harris, who plays the romantic lead role of revolutionary student Perchik, says. It is so good to be back here, and I have never worked on the stage of this theatre. In some ways, I feel like my career has come full circle now.
The show opens on Friday 23 September. Harris is starring alongside the legendary Topol, who earned an Academy Award nomination for his performance in the 1971 movie and who has played the lead role of Tevye thousands of times on stage.
As Perchik, Harris plays a fiery but romantic young student, who arrives in the small Russian village to preach against communism just prior to the revolution.
In the process, he also wins the heart of Tevye’s eldest daughter Hodel, played by Octavia Barron Martin.
Harris, 30, admitted he was initially ambivalent about a revival of the 41-year-old musical and questioned whether it had dated. One read of the script, however, changed his mind.
This show has been around for years, but when I was given the script to read and watched the film again, I realised how good it really is. It is very comical and it pushes some boundaries.
And working with Topol is amazing. He has this understanding of the show, and brings a life to the whole thing. Fiddler has also been pushed into the contemporary times a bit more recently, and it also takes the piss out of itself on occasion, and that is fun.
Fiddler on the Roof opens 23 September at the Capitol Theatre. Bookings through Ticketmaster on 1300 136 166.