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In his element . . . Performer Hayden Tee is bringing his stage presence to the Oamaru Opera House next week. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

It’s back!

Musical theatre returns to the Oamaru Opera House next week with “The Shows Must Go On”.

A cast of New Zealanders who have become international stars will perform some of the world’s favourite songs from stage and screen.

The programme includes hits from The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Hairspray, Dreamgirls, The Greatest Showman, We Will Rock You and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Musical theatre director Stephen Robertson is in charge of the touring production, coaxing the best out of the six performers in their home country before they return to overseas theatres.

Hayden Tee, who grew up in Northland, has achieved international renown for his portrayal of Javert in Les Miserables on Broadway, in London’s West End, and in Australia, Dubai and New Zealand. He has also played Marius in Les Mis and thrilled audiences as Miss Trunchbull in Matilda in the West End and around the world.

Tee told the Oamaru Mail he had not been to the Oamaru Opera House before.

“I can’t wait to get there and to perform there.

“I have spent the last 20 years touring the world and the opportunity to now tour and visit the entirety of my home country is a real gift.

“I can’t wait to meet people all over and sing for everyone.”

One of the aspects of concerts he enjoys most is “the challenge of stepping in and out of different realities”. It was “a bit like musical theatre roulette”, he said.

It was hard to pinpoint a favourite song from the show.

“Oooh, that changes daily. Sometimes it’s one of my songs like Stars from Les Mis, sometimes it is a song another performer sings like something from the hit musical Hamilton and sometimes it’s a group number like our Disney medley.

“There really is something for whatever mood you are in in this show.”

After the tour ends, Tee will play one of the wicked sisters in a Christchurch production of the pantomime Cinderella in December.

“Once international theatre opens up again I will return to the international tour of Matilda as Miss Trunchbull, but in the meantime I’m thrilled to be working in my home country.

“I love it here. If the work continues I may never leave.”

The curtain goes up at 7.30pm on Wednesday on the Oamaru performance of “The Shows Must Go On”.