5 Questions with Bert LaBonte and Marney McQueen

Bert LaBonte

Bert LaBonte

Marny McQueen: What are the best things about your home town, Geelong?
Bert LaBonte: Being so close to the water, but far enough away from the city.

In what ways do your sons take after you?
Oh look, they’re very sociable and blood cheeky.

Is your wife Amanda happy to be rid of you ¾ of the year while you are on tour?
I can safely say NO! But we make it work when it happens. We call it Team LaBonte!

Which have you been most proud of in your entire performing life?
I’d probably say Foley from An Officer And A Gentleman because I created the role in an original musical. Oh, and I might’ve won a few awards for it too.

What advice would you give other actors regarding working with a diva like me?
Just smile, breathe and think of home time.

Marney McQueen

Marney McQueen

Bert LaBonte: Other than me, which other leading man/men have you found inspirational to work with?
Marney McQueen: Tony Sheldon in Priscilla, he never missed a show, and even in rehearsals he always gave it 150%. I loved working with Andrew McFarlane, mostly because I was able to live out a childhood crush developed over many years of Playschool watching, and I learned many lessons about making sure you enjoy yourself while you are working from Bob Hornery. But my most inspirational leading man was the incomparable Garry MacDonald. In my comedy shows I work alongside an exceptional theatrical animal, Mark Jones, who I could not do cabaret without.

What is your favourite role you’ve played in your career to date?
At school, John Proctor in The Crucible. I went to an all girls’ school.

How do you find being a mum with little ones in this industry helps you as a performer?
It certainly helps you focus in your job while you are at work, you become more efficient. Although in this show you can tap into the immense pool of emotions that little people unleash within you.

If you weren’t a performer what would you be doing with your life?
I love this question. I studied commerce at the University of Melbourne, but I don’t think I would’ve pursued a career in that department. I think I’d be a real estate agent, which is basically being an actor, yeah?

What’s your favourite thing to do away from work?
Go swimming at the Coogee Women’s Pool.

Bert LaBonte and Marney McQueen can both be seen in Dream Lover the musical.
Dates: from 22 September, 2016
Venue: Sydney Lyric Theatre