CHATS Inc – Jaq & the Green Pork

Earlier in 2019 I had the opportunity to perform in a CHATS Inc. Production titled Jaq and the Green Pork. Written and Directed by Coffs Harbour Local Maureen Burgess. I was initially asked to step in and fill in for a cast member who had dropped out of the show. I had four weeks to catch up on all the rehearsals I had missed.

3 Days out of opening night, due to an unfortunate illness with one of the leads I was asked to step in and complete the role of “The Witch” a lead role with multiple songs and a large chunk of dialogue.

I had an absolute blast being back on-stage again.

For my work in the show I received the below reference from the director. I cannot thank you enough Maureen!

To Whom It May Concern, 

I first worked with Lewis in a local (CHMCC- Coffs Harbour Musical Comedy Company) production of “Hairspray”, in which I was Musical Director, and Lewis played the roles of Mr Pinky and Matron to great acclaim. I was so impressed with both his performance and his wonderful positive attitude, that I asked him to be my Assistant Director in a CHMCC production of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” the following year, a role in which he excelled whilst also being an inspiring and integral part of the ensemble. 

In 2016 we worked together again, but this time both on stage, in the ensemble of “Pirates of Penzance”, and it was during this production that the true extent of Lewis’s talent and versatility came to light. Due to a sudden illness, and with only hours of notice, Lewis (in his early 20’s) took over the role of Ruth, the plain, middle aged nursemaid to Frederic. Lewis rose unflinchingly to the challenge, and played the role with all the energy and comic timing required. 

Our most recent collaboration was in July/August 2019, when I had a casting problem whilst directing my self-penned Pantomime “Jaq and the Green Pork”. Once again Lewis came to the rescue, firstly filling a small singing and dancing role and then due to another severe illness (no, I’m certain there was no poison or plotting involved, just a lot of bad luck), Lewis took on a Principal role as well as the original smaller role. I can honestly say, I don’t know of anyone else who could have capably taken this on.  

Lewis is an incredibly fast learner, has an amazing, inspiring and uplifting energy, is a great mentor to younger and less experienced performers and is an absolute dream to Direct. He sings, dances, listens, takes advice on board, is unafraid of straying well out of his comfort zone, and is not too proud to ask for help or guidance. I would work with him any time and anywhere, and if he has the success I believe he deserves, I would drop everything to see him perform. He is a remarkable talent, and a beautiful human being, and I am absolutely certain that given the chance, his star will shine brightly. 


Maureen Burgess 

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