Dream Lover is a new Australian musical about the life of legendary singer, songwriter and actor Bobby Darin and his movie star wife Sandra Dee. We chatted with Hannah Fredericksen, who co-stars alongside David Campbell’s Bobby Darin as Sandra Dee, about working on a brand-new musical, the incredible cast she’s sharing the stage with, and why audiences should come see the show.
Hannah attended the Victorian College of the Arts, graduating in 2011 with a Bachelor of Music Theatre. Since graduating, Hannah has featured in many plays and musicals, including originating the role of Kate Kelly in Ned: A New Australian Musical, and performing in Life Like Company’s City of Angels. Hannah has also featured on screen in Offspring, starred as Olivia Newton-John in Molly, and appeared in Opera Australia’s The Divorce.
What’s the process of working on a new Australian musical been like?
“Wonderful and thrilling, but quite uniquely challenging. We’re still making tweaks to the show as we preview because we have the ability to do that. It’s been a really wonderful collaborative process.
“As an actor, getting to play someone who was a real person is wonderful, but also getting to be a part of making a contribution to a show and then seeing that be put onto a stage and seeing audiences respond to that is such a lovely gift.”
Were you familiar with the story of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee before becoming involved in the show?
“Not at all! I knew about Bobby Darin, I knew about his music, and I knew about Sandra Dee as an ingénue actress, but I had no idea they were married or had a son; I didn’t know anything about their tumultuous, very passionate relationship or about her incredibly unique life.
“I think that’s the most exciting thing about playing her for me, the way she appears and is so immaculate. I get to wear these gorgeous costumes, she was this wonderful style icon and this star, and it’s so juxtaposed to what was actually going on behind the scenes. We give the audience a look into what was going on behind all that fame and stardom – I think people are really surprised by both of their life stories.”
What’s it been like working with such an incredible cast?
“I feel like I’m peaking really early in my career, I don’t know how I’m going to come back from this! Now that I’ve got to work with David and Caroline [O’Connor], I feel in such safe hands going on to stage every night. And David is such a generous performer, I don’t know how he does it! I mean the man is running on essentially 3 hours sleep! But he’s so fun to work with and so in the moment with you and both of them are just pros. They’ve been doing this for such a long time so for me to get to watch them in the rehearsal room and the way they approach their characters and the work, and to soak as much of that up as I can and take as many notes as I can – I feel very lucky.”
Why should audiences come to see the show?
“It’s a brand new Australian musical, you will be the first people in the world to be a part of seeing this show and it will have a life that goes beyond here. So be a part of the very beginning of its journey!”
Dream Lover is currently in previews at the Sydney Lyric Theatre. It opens on Thursday 6th October and will take off! Book your tickets now!