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In 2021, David returned to Australia to star as Anatoly Sergievsky in Chess The Musical – the first major production in Newcastle post the COVID-19 pandemic which shuttered the theatre industry worldwide.

With music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of the pop group ABBA, lyrics by Ulvaeus and Tim Rice, and a book by Rice, Chess is the story of a politically driven, Cold War–era chess tournament between two grandmasters, one American and the other Soviet Russian, and their fight over a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other.

Starring alongside David was theatre powerhouse Silvie Paladino as Florence, Marty Worrall (Freddie), Amy Vee (Svetlana), Christopher Allan (Molokov), Robert McDougal (Walter) and Marissa Saroca (The Arbiter). Produced by The Very Popular Theatre Company and photos by Peter Stoop Photography.



“With two internationally acclaimed performers leading the cast, this production promised so much – and it certainly delivered… Harris and Paladino shared a beautiful onstage chemistry, and their rendition of ‘You and I’ was both heart-wrenching and believable… their voices blended beautifully.” – TheatrePeople (full review)

“David Harris was strong, steadfast and confident as Anatoly Sergievsky, the Russian chess champion – determined to win and unyielding of his convictions – yet also very likeable in order for his relationship with Florence, and Svetlana’s yearning for his return, to make sense…. The unwavering stability of Harris’ Anatoly and the irrationality of Worrall’s Freddie gave sense and meaning to the decisions made by their characters as the story unfolded… Harris’ passionate and rousing rendition of ‘Anthem’, the blockbuster closing to act one, had an extra sense of poignancy from this internationally acclaimed performer.” – TheatrePeople (full review)

“Silvie Paladino as Florence Vassy, and David Harris as Russian master Anatoly Sergievsky were in fine voice” – Stage Whispers (full review)


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