BWW Interview: Euan Doidge & Mitchell Fistrovic
On a Saturday afternoon I sat down via Zoom, to catch up with Australian music theatre couple Euan Doidge and Mitchell Fistrovic. We discussed their life together, their careers to date and how COVID-19 has affected them. Both Doidge and Fistrovic are very well-known in the Australian music theatre industry and have had extremely successful careers, performing in a plethora of musicals, both together and independently.
Doidge is most celebrated for starring as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, Felicia in the Australian revival tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Marius in the Australian revival tour of Les Misérables. He also played Paul San Marco in the Australian revival of A Chorus Line, which saw him become the youngest nominee for a Helpmann Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical.
Originally from New Zealand, he moved to country South Australia with his family in 2000. Having started dancing at age ten, Doidge then moved to Melbourne at age 17 to pursue his performing dreams by training at Patrick Studios Australia, under the direction of Andrew Hallsworth. We discuss how moving from rural Australia to Melbourne must have been a huge adjustment to his life. "I grew up very quickly when I moved to Melbourne and I met so many people that nurtured me, which I was very grateful for... It was a huge struggle to move away from my family. It was a crazy time, but I wouldn't have changed it for the world."
Fistrovic started his musical theatre career very early and recounts "I don't remember anything else than dancing and singing". At age nine he toured Australia and Singapore in Oliver! "It was incredible... as a nine year old getting to go to Singapore for four to five months, living in a hotel with your best friends... I was working with a lot of my friends... who are still working in the industry today... so it's pretty cool to have that journey with them from 20 years ago". Fistrovic in his teenage years also featured in the first season of So You Think You Can Dance in Greece. His adult musical theatre career has seen him work in a diverse range of shows from Mary Poppins and Wicked to Baz Luhrmann's Strictly Ballroom. Most recently Fistrovic appeared in the Australian revival of Chicago and is set to appear in the original Australian production of Frozen, which has currently been postponed to 1st December, 2020, due to COVID-19 restrictions.
With both men having had such extensive careers, it is no surprise that they first met at an audition! "Unfortunately I didn't get the show and Euan did", Fistrovic remarks through a grin. The 'show' in question was the 2012 Production Company's revival of The Producers. However, it wasn't until six years later in 2018 when both men worked together in Priscilla Queen of the Desert and then Saturday Night Fever that they began dating. "We were lucky," says Doidge on the chance to work with Fistrovic in back to back productions.
Looking back at their careers to date I asked both guys what the highlights have been. Doidge mentions that while all of the productions he has worked on have been special for different reasons, his highlights have been singing at Carols By Candlelight, with various productions and playing the role of Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever. "It's an iconic role, and to be given the chance to play Tony was a moment in time I will never forget."
Fistrovic reflects that touring with Hugh Jackman around Australia in his Broadway to Oz concert was a once in a lifetime experience. He also speaks of his love of performing in Wicked. "I had probably seen it 1000 times before I got into it. I just loved the story, I loved the dancing, I feel it was the first commercial Broadway show that I had seen which was kind of up my alley."
Like so many artsworkers around Australia, Doidge and Fistrovic have been affected by the temporary dimming of the lights of Australian theatre. Both men "Can't wait to get performing again!' The current hiatus has caused a strong hunger in both of them to get back to their passion.
You can follow Euan Doidge on instagram @euandoidge and Mitchell Fistrovic @mitchell.fistrovic