First pics: Zhivago ready for Sydney

These are the first stunning images from inside the Lyric Theatre ahead of the opening night of the new musical Doctor Zhivago on Saturday night.

Shot by Australian theatre’s biggest up and coming photographer, Kurt Sneddon, they show a tremendous set and signs of a true classic musical that is likely to be a major talking point in Sydney after Saturday’s opening.

And the good news is that leading man Anthony Warlow will be fit and ready for Saturday’s opening after a drama-filled preview period in which he was injured just hours before the first performance.

“I’m relieved to be back,” Warlow said after missing a weekend’s worth of performances.

“I am very disappointed that I had to miss the first four shows, but I’m now able to walk and flex my leg, and rearing to go. This is a very physical show, and it’s thrilling to create this brand new show with a wonderful cast and crew.”

Producer John Frost is delighted that Anthony has recovered.

“I’d like to thank our audiences over the weekend for their encouragement and their good wishes. We had standing ovations after each show, and I know with Anthony back to the helm, the audience reactions will be even stronger. I am very proud of Doctor Zhivago.”

The US creative team has been in Australia working with the cast during the rehearsal and preview period and is confident the show is eady to go.

“Australia is rich in musical talent,” said US co-producer Anita Waxman

“The amazing cast we’ve assembled is testament to that. It’s wonderful to be among a committed, enthusiastic and talented bunch of people that is the Doctor Zhivago team. Australian performers really have something special – a pride in what they do, a willingness to thrown themselves into it and give anything a go.”

Local producer John Frost is more than aware of the talk that the show is too much of a risk and an unknown entity for Sydney, but he is looking well beyond the Lyric Theatre season.

“Every show is a risk,” Frost said.

“But this work is for the world, and I believe it has a strong commercial life after it plays the main stages.”

Doctor Zhivago hit the big screen in 1965 as an epic, drama romance by David Lean and created a star of Omar Sharif in the title role. The film remained popular for decades, and as of 2010 was the eighth highest grossing film of all time.’s TROY DODDS and ERIN JAMES will be at the opening night of Doctor Zhivago on Saturday to provide complete coverage of the biggest Australian theatre opening of the year so far.

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