Kerri-Anne Kennerley looked delighted to be back to work this week as she took to the stage with her new co-stars to rehearse for an upcoming production of musical ‘Pippin’, which will debut at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre next month.
Photographs of the cast, including the 67-year-old Australian broadcaster, taking part in rehearsals were shared on Monday – and Kerri-Anne looked a far-cry from her usual glamorous self as she dressed down in active wear for the occasion. While she opted for a plain black sports top, the fashionable TV star did add a pop of colour to her look with a pair of floral lycra leggings.
The hugely poplar stage show tells the story of a young man named Pippin who finds himself at a crossroads in his life. “Does he follow in the footsteps of his father, one of the most powerful men in the land? Or does he strike out on his own, to find his own ‘corner of the sky?’,” the show’s summary reads. Broadway star Ainsley Melham – best know for playing Aladdin on stage – plays the title character, while Kerri-Anne takes on the role of his saucy grandmother Berthe.
News of Kerri-Anne’s new job was revealed earlier this month by Channel Seven entertainment editor Peter Ford, who first confirmed that the veteran broadcaster would be taking a break from the small screen and trying her hand at live theatre following her axing from Studio 10.
“The role that Kerri-Anne will be playing is really just one scene and one big number,” Ford said on The Morning Show. “But it’s a show-stopping number. You basically walk in there, steal the show and go home. It’s a great gig for her.”
The news that Kerri-Anne had been sacked by Network Ten was first revealed by Mumbrella in August, after the industry publication reportedly saw internal documents from Ten detailing the cost-saving measures. Staff at the network were notified about the cuts in an all-staff email sent on the same day. And the veteran presenter wasted no time in discussing the life-changing news as she openly discussed the axing live on air the following day.
“It’s very, very tough for a lot of people,” she said. “But I’ve always worked on a personal level, the Charles Darwin theory that says to survive you don’t have to be the most intelligent, you don’t have to be the strongest, but you have to be [to survive] the most adaptable.
“I have had such a good time, with all my new friends, and I don’t say that lightly because you’ve all been so delightful, so charming and so generous … I’ve had a ball. But, if you are being run out of town, get in front of the parade … or get in front of the crowd and make it look like a parade.”
Kerri-Anne then added: “It is what it is … it’s not the first time, unfortunately. I am very, very sad because I will miss you guys, miss the audience, miss the feedback. But it is what it is. You just have to suck it up and move on.”
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