Little Polly doesn’t know it yet, but she’s been helping mum rehearse. Lucy Durack’s eight-month-old daughter sits enraptured as she listens to her mum belt out music from the movie Frozen.
“Last year, (my husband) Chris asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I said ‘Can you learn the male part of Love Is An Open Door so we can sing it to Polly?’ He learnt the part, as well as the harmonies. We sing it to Polly and it’s really fun,” Durack says.
It’s been excellent practice for the musical theatre star, who will appear alongside David Campbell, Harrison Craig and Ricki-Lee in Disney In Concert — Under The Stars, a show featuring songs from favourite animated movies, including Frozen, The Lion King, Beauty And The Beast and Mary Poppins.
For Durack, these classic songs have enduring appeal because they bring back the magic of childhood, regardless of a person’s age.
“They’re story songs; you get involved in these beautifully written stories, and hearing them reminds you of that fairytale, magical element of life you believed in when you were younger,” she says.
The show will be her first concert gig since having Polly with choreographer husband Chris Horsey.
The lack of a nine-to-five job can work in the family’s favour, Durack says, but it can have its drawbacks, too.
“Some things are a bit more flexible,” she says. “Because the hours are all over the place, we often slot things in between but sometimes I think that a routine is handy.
“In my mothers’ group, I’m the only one doing this, and daycare options are hard because the hours are very set.
“We need to be really prepared. Before we say yes to a gig, we ask each other ‘How do we do this and make sure Polly is looked after?’
“Most things are possible, but I’ve said no to a lot more lately.”
Durack is best known for musical theatre roles — as Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked and Elle Woods in Legally Blonde — and says she is looking forward to performing just as herself.
“Glinda is a very specific vocal type — it required quite a lot of classical training — and Elle was so different again.
“To get to sing as me is really enjoyable and it’s a real treat to be able to sing so honestly.”
Singing is clearly not Durack’s only talent, however.
While on maternity leave, Durack filmed a comedy pilot and she is also writing a screenplay.
“I love comedy television — I’m a crazy fan of Parks And Recreation, The Office and The Moodys,” she says.
“I got to play a part in the last series of The Moodys, and I have a little part in one of the episodes of Meet The Habibs.”
Durack also had a small role in the comedy feature film Now Add Honey and says she is keen to work more in comedy, in both film and TV.
“Working with Robyn Butler (in Now Add Honey) was a career highlight,” she says. “She’s a huge inspiration to me and so is Jane Kennedy.
“There are a lot of women in comedy who have families, who are working really hard and juggling between that, which is a goal of mine.
“Having a baby gave me the time to reassess and see what I’m really excited about. I’m going in a slightly different direction but definitely not leaving musical theatre.