Ex-local scribe stages new act at Sydney Opera House

RISING STAR: Former Chronicle journalist Matthew Backer (right) is in the final stages of rehearsals for ’The Tempest’, on at the Sydney Opera House from August 19.
RISING STAR: Former Chronicle journalist Matthew Backer (right) is in the final stages of rehearsals for ’The Tempest’, on at the Sydney Opera House from August 19. Daniel Boud

THERE'S no stopping former Fraser Coast journalist Matthew Backer as he prepares to take the Sydney Opera House stage for the third time.

The 30-year-old may have left The Chronicle's Maryborough office to successfully pursue his life dream of becoming an actor, but Matt Backer still holds the Fraser Coast close to his heart.

He is now in the final weeks of rehearsal for his role as Ariel in the Bell Shakespeare company's The Tempest, directed by John Bell and said his time working on the Fraser Coast helped with his career.

"Acting is about people-reading and understanding humans, knowing why people operate and why they do what they do and so is reporting," Matthew said.

"It helped a lot and I often think about it when I'm in shows."

While Matthew's ever-growing portfolio fills with big name shows as performances, the young star said a highlight of his career would be to perform in a show closer to his roots.

"My aim is to get a show that will get me to the Brolga. It will be a true highlight," he said.

After completing his journalism cadetship in 2006, Matt went on to study at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney before landing the lead role of Frankie Valli in the 2011 Australian production of Jersey Boys.

He has since worked in a number of on-stage shows and co-hosted the children's program, History Hunters.

The Tempest runs from August 19 to September 18.

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