Rob Guest Endowment 2011 – Live Updates


Join us as we follow the 2011 Rob Guest Endowment … live from Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne.

Join us as we follow the 2011 Rob Guest Endowment … live from Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. 

7:40 pm

  • MC Bert Newton’s opening remarks remember the late, great Rob Guest.

“Rob Guest was a wonderful man. He was great onstage, and offstage he was one of the finest. Rob Guest was a mentor”, he said.  

7:45 pm

  •  We celebrate 125 years of Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne. 

 The theatre opened in 1886 on October 1 as The Alexandra Theatre (See more info here)

7:55 pm

  • Opening number – ‘When I get my name in Lights’. Performed by Blake & Fletcher O’Leary and the finalists 

Accompanied by a full onstage orchestra under the baton of Kellie Dickerson.   

8:04 pm

  • Kellie Dickerson – “The Endowment means a great deal to me. It also is of a great deal of importance to our young artists”.

This concert is an extraordinary experience. One of Rob’s favourite things was to perform at was a live concert.

8:06 pm

  • We meet the finalists: 

Luigi Lucente, Gretel Scarlett, Kirby Lunn, Ashlea Pyke, Blake Bowden and Jamie Ward – dressed to kill and ready to sing. 

8:10 pm

  • The first finalist Luigi Lucente sings ‘The Way You Look Tonight’ 

8:14 pm

  • Second finalist, Kirby Lunn sings ‘Gorgeous’ in a spectacular white gown with a big voice! 

 8:18 pm

  • A stunningly beautiful piece of contemporary dance left the audience spellbound. The Australian Ballet dancers Calvin Hannaford and Vivienne Wong performed TRACE

 8:22 pm

  • Finalist Jamie Ward sings ‘Use What You’ve Got’ – a big voice, and a huge response from the crowd. 

8:25 pm 

  • Finalist Ashlea Pyke performs ‘Quiet’ – a song by Jonathan Reid Gealt.


8:28 pm

  • There are five judges for tonight’s Endowment Concert: Kellie Dickerson, Karen Johnson Mortimer, Garry Young (stepping in for Roger Hodgman, who is ill this evening), Stuart Maunder, Peter Casey


8:32 pm 

  • Two of Australia’s Fiyero’s take to the stage to perform the hysterical ‘Agony’ from Into The Woods. David Harris and Rob Mills!


8:35 pm 

  • Finalist Gretel Scarlett performs ‘Not Getting Married Today’ from Company with the support of two of her Wicked cast members, Anthony Costanzo and Suzie Mathers. Thunderous applause from the audience after this number – a very, very fast patter song!


8:40 pm

  • Finalist Blake Bowden sings Proud Lady, with the audience in the palm of his hand. 


8:44 pm

Bert Newton: “Tonight we have some new Australian songs being showcased by writers”. We celebrate songwriters John Foreman, Matthew Robinson, Matthew Frank and Dean Bryant, Paul Keelan and Gary Young. 

Live Auction Prizes!

  • Musical Theatre Poster Set:

Signed Posters from the casts of: 





  • 2 tickets to the Men’s Semi Final at the Australian Open, and a package of goodies
  • Glinda-fied wand as used by Lucy Durack in the Australian Tour of Wicked 


8:47 pm

  • Sneak Preview of Strange Bedfellows. ‘How Can I Tell Him’ performed by Belinda Wollaston and Melissa Langton. A huge song with a big heart. 


8:50 pm

  • Esther Hannaford performs ‘As Far As The Eye Can See’, written by Australians Matthew Frank and Dean Bryant. 

 8:53 pm

  • Lucy Durack, Alex Rathgeber, Lucy Maunder and Rob Mills perform the jazzy ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ written by Matthew Robinson. Smooth, sexy and sensational. 

Alex Rathgeber and Bert Newton banter about An Officer And A Gentleman, (Bert jokes that he auditioned for role of Sid Worley too, but was ‘too tall!’). Lucy Maunder talks about Dr. Zhivago and her enjoyment in the show. Lucy Durack talks about Wicked and Bert Newton pays tribute to her talent and generosity as a performer. Rob Mills chats about the new Young Talent Time (which he will host on Television). They have found the new young talent team, and we will be meeting the team soon! 


9:03 pm

  • The stunningly beautiful and immensely talented Silvie Paladino sings ‘One Voice’ to close the first act. What a voice!   


9:32 pm

  • Act 2 opens with the cast of Rock Of Ages singing The Show Must Go On. Wild applause from the audience as the number concludes.

9:40 pm 

Live Auction: 


  • Bidding starts at $200 for the Signed Poster Set

$220, $240, $300…$500, $550….$1000, $1100….$1600! Going once, going, twice.. sold! 

  • Bidding starts $500 at for the Semi Final tickets (Mens) at the 2012 Australian Open, Overnight Accommodation at the Sofitel including breakfast “and you get Rob Mills for the night”! (Joking)

$600, $700, $800, $900, $1000, $1200, $1500, going once, going twice.. sold! $1500 

  • Bidding starts at $600 for Lucy Durack’s wand (as Glinda in Wicked)

$700, $800, $900, $1000, $1100, $1200, $1400, $1500, $1550, $1600, $1800, $2000, (thunderous applause!)…. going once, going twice…. $2300, $2400… going once, going twice… $2500, $2600 going once going twice… $2700, $2800, going once going twice..$3000..going once, going twice, SOLD! 

9:53 pm 

  • A host of Thank Yous – especially to ANZ Trustees Foundation… and on with the show


9:54 pm

  • Luigi Lucente presents his second number for the evening: ‘The Streets of Dublin’ (Flaherty and Ahrens), with a great reception from the audience. 


9:58 pm

Gretel Scarlett leaves comedy behind and brings out the big guns with On My Own (from Les Miserables)

10:02 pm

Alex Rathgeber and Lucy Maunder perform ‘Moonlight on the Snow’ – a song by Paul Keelan with lyrics by Gary Young. 

10:05 pm  

Finalist Jamie Ward sings his second number – ‘Mirror Blue Night’ from Spring Awakening, a show he appeared in for the STC.


10:08 pm

Finalist Kirby Lunn performs ‘Spark of Creation’ from Children of Eden (Stephen Schwartz). 


10:11 pm

“One of Australia’s favourite leading ladies”, star of the stage, Rhonda Burchmore brings it home with ‘Feelin’ Good’ after telling a personal anecdote about The Maj. 

10:17 pm

Blake Bowden performs ‘If I Can’t Love Her’ from the musical Beauty and The Beast as his second piece this evening. 

10:21 pm

Ashela Pyke performs ‘Don’t Rain on My Parade’ from Funny Girl.

The judges will now head out the back to make their decisions. This year’s winner will be announced shortly.

10:25 pm 

David Harris and Lucy Durack perform ‘I See The Light’. 

10:31 pm

Francine Cain, the winner of the 2012 Rob Guest Endowment sings ‘Gimme Gimme’ and tears up the stage! Go Francine!

10:40 pm 

Tina Cross sings a duet with the vocals of the late, great Rob Guest – the enchanting ‘Beauty and The Beast’ 

(Sorry everyone, the updates will stop for a few moments as I am needed on stage! The Love Never Dies cast are singing the closing number, but I will have twitter at the ready side stage! – Erin)



The winner of this year’s Rob Guest Endowment is the wonderful Blake Bowden. 


Closing Number 

The cast of Love Never Dies (lead by Anna O’Byrne and Simon Gleeson) sing the beautiful ‘Make Our Garden Grow’ from Bernstein’s Candide as the closing number for the 2011 Rob Guest Endowment. Congratulations to all involved – what a wonderful night, what an incredible celebration and what an intoxicating display of talent we saw tonight at Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne.  

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *