One of Australia’s best loved performers, Simon Burke AO is thrilled to be celebrating his 50 years as a professional stage actor by joining the cast of Wicked. He most recently starred as Harold Zidler in the phenomenally successful Australian production of Moulin Rouge! The Musical, for which he won the 2023 Sydney Theatre Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical.
Simon’s many roles in London’s West End include Captain von Trapp in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of The Sound of Music at the London Palladium, Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera, Carl-Magnus in A Little Night Music with Dame Judi Dench at the Royal National Theatre, Fred in A Christmas Carol at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Georges in La Cage Aux Folles at the Playhouse Theatre and in the UK premiere of the iconic Australian play Holding the Man at the Trafalgar Studios.
Australian musical theatre credits include Marius in the original Australian cast of Les Misérables (Cameron Mackintosh), Billy in Anything Goes (Hayden Productions) for which he won the Green Room Award for Best Actor in a Musical), Whizzer in Falsettos (Sydney Theatre Company), Billy in Chicago, Mr Banks in Mary Poppins (Disney Theatrical), Edna Turnblad in Hairspray (Harvest Rain), Bill Clinton in Clinton The Musical (Black Swan), Frank Snr in Catch Me if You Can (Hayes Theatre) and Charlemagne in Pippin (John Frost and Suzanne Jones). Other stage credits include Take Me Out, Noises Off (Melbourne Theatre Company), Up For Grabs, The Wharf Revue, The Herbal Bed, Mary Stuart (STC), October, The Homosexuals (Griffin), The Misanthrope (Bell Shakespeare) and Strangers In Between (45 downstairs).
His countless screen credits range from The Devil’s Playground (1976 AFI Best Actor Award) to Devil’s Playground (Executive Producer/lead actor – 2015 AACTA and Logie Awards Best Mini-Series), and an astonishing 25 years as one of ABCTV’s favourite Play School presenters. Other television productions include Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, Deep Water, Rake, Dead Lucky, The Alice, Water Rats and Crazy Fun Park. Five Minute Call, a comedy web series set backstage of a big musical that he produced, co-wrote and co-starred in, will premiere this year.
Simon was proud to host the inaugural Helpmann Awards in 2001, and returned to host from 2002-2006 and again in 2012. He was President of Actors Equity from 2004-2014, Vice President of the International Federation of Actors (FIA) from 2012-2016, and was made an Honorary Life Member of the MEAA in 2015.
In 2015, Simon was named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to the performing arts as an actor, singer and producer.