Shane Crawford is BLASTED after AFL legend lands role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as musical theater industry label goes ‘offensive’ and ‘disheartening’
- Shane Crawford has been slammed for accepting a role in a Melbourne musical
- AFL legend to star as Pharaoh in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
- The musical theater industry called the move “offensive” and “disheartening.”
The musical theater industry has lambasted the decision to cast Shane Crawford in one of the world’s most iconic shows, despite the AFL legend having no acting experience.
The Hawthorn champion is set to make his theatrical debut in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat during the Melbourne season of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s popular musical.
Crawford will play the role of the Pharaoh. Australian icon Jason Donavan played the same character in the London production version.
Shane Crawford has been lambasted after landing a role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in Melbourne
“To be offered an opportunity like this is incredible. I’ve done so many different things in my sports and media career, but I’ve never performed in a musical, and I can’t wait! Crawford said via The Age.
“To have the chance to be on stage, to work with so many talented artists, to entertain an audience will be a huge buzz.
“Playing as the Pharaoh in this new production of Joseph and the incredible Technicolor Dreamcoat is going to be fun – and a little daunting. Bring on the rehearsals.
However, Crawford’s casting in front of a legion of actors who had spent years honing their craft caused frustration in the musical theater industry.
AFL legend to play Pharaoh despite having no prior acting experience
The musical theater industry blasted the decision and said it was a ‘blatant blow’
“Incredibly disappointing but not at all surprised,” said Melbourne-based composer Samantha Andrew.
“It just sends such a disheartening message to artists who have dedicated their lives to this industry, who have gone through all the heartbreaking steps to even get into an audition room, and then you see these roles being given to someone who has played a times at the AFL.
‘Hawthorn doesn’t sign Lucy Durack (Wicked, Legally Blonde: The Musical), it’s offensive to the industry in that he’s basically saying, “Oh no, you don’t need any training to do that, anyone can do it.”
“It just confirms everything we’ve suspected for a long time about our priorities in this country,” she added.
“It shows very well how important sport is seen as compared to the arts, and I think that’s an added layer of frustration.”
Michelle Rae, director of performers’ union MEAA Equity, said the organization “is aware of the concerns raised by our members” following Crawford’s casting.