The effervescent, ebullient Johanna Allen literally stole the show.’ Sydney Morning Herald.
Johanna Allen has established a career as one of Australia’s most versatile singer/actors. After graduating with both a Bachelor of Music Performance (Hons) and B.A. (Drama Performance and Direction.), she won a scholarship to study with Daneil Ferro at the Juilliard School, New York. There she continued her training in acting and music. Most recently she was seen as ‘Mrs Gloop’ in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 2019/2020 and she played Mother Abbess in GFO’s production of The Sound of Music 2018. Other recent credits include: Signora Nacarelli in The Light in the Piazza at the Playhouse, Arts Centre Victoria, and Charlotte in A Little Night Music (2018 Green Room Award Winner for Best Supporting Actress in a professional musical.)
She premiered her latest festival commission Cake at the 2018 Adelaide Cabaret Festival. In 2018 Johanna was also awarded a ‘Star of Fame’ on the Adelaide Festival Centre Walk of Fame alongside Sir Robert Helpmann and Hugh Sheridan for her year. This coincided with her beginning a side career in radio, as presenter/producer for the ABC and the highly successful release of her Arts Program Words with Friends on Saturday afternoons.
Recent theatre credits also include Wicked and Dr Zhivago for the Gordon Frost Organisation, Marcy in Dogfight (Hayes Theatre) Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera for Really Useful/Neil Gooding Productions, Lady D’Asquith – A Gentlemen’s guide to Love and Murder (Production Company) and Emma Goldman – Assassins for Watch This Melbourne.
Her self-written musical play The Songs That Got Away based on the music of Harold Arlen has had sell out seasons at the Hayes Theatre Sydney, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Melbourne Recital Centre, Glen Street Theatre, Noosa Festival and Parramatta Riverside Sydney.
Johanna played Oriel in developments of Cloudstreet for State Opera South Australia, with music by George Palmer and directed by Gale Edwards.
Other roles include The Baker’s Wife – Into the Woods (GFO), The Threepenny Opera (Sydney Theatre Company/Malthouse Theatre), Elizabeth Proctor – The Crucible (New York Theatre Festival), Lady Macbeth – Macbeth (New York Theatre Festival), and The Angel and the Red Priest (Adelaide Festival). Other principal credits include Kate – The Pirates of Penzance (opposite Anthony Warlow, National DVD release) Pitti Sing – The Mikado, the Old Lady – Candide for State Opera South Australia and she originated the role of Gussie Bethell in Ode to Nonsense (Slingsby/State Theatre Company) a new work about the life of Edward Lear.
Her association with the Adelaide Cabaret Festival has included roles in The Wild Party – The Music of Andrew Lippa, Suitcase – The Music of Sean Peter, An Evening with Jeremy Sams, her own show Mixtape, The Songs that Got Away and Cake. Further professional credits include Guys and Dolls (Melbourne Symphony concert version), The Sign of the Seahorse (Playbox Theatre) SCAM!, Mr McGee and the Biting Flea (Patch Theatre) and Dead Man Walking ( Sister Rose, State Theatre Sydney). Her concert experience is vast, with numerous credits in classical repertoire, big band swing and pop and collaborations with artists such as David Helfgott, Anthony Warlow, David Hobson, Michael Buble, Suzanne Vega, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and New York City Big Band. As an artist she has performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Melbourne Comedy Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival and at the International Speigeltent. She presented her third sell out show at the Melbourne Recital Centre in 2017 called Euromash which included the music of Michel Le Grand, Astor Piazola and Edith Piaf in collaboration with Jazz composer and musician Mark Simeon Ferguson.
Film and television credits include Rewind (presenter), Travelling Light (Dawnie), The Front Bar, The Eye (Festival Shorts: Best Actress), and with guest roles on McCleod’s Daughters and multiple television commercials, including Woolworths, Coles and spokesperson for the Open Universities TVC series. Johanna’s album, Calling Card, is a collection of jazz standards, covers and originals created in collaboration with is available on iTunes.
Photo by Alex Vaughan