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Back to reality for Shepparton stage star

Nicky Pummeroy has returned to life on her egg farm after dazzling audiences during Shepparton Theatre Arts Group's production of My Fair Lady.

JOHN LEWIS July 18, 2014 3:28am

Nicky Pummeroy working on her egg farm.


She is just an ordinary woman — who just happens to have a stellar voice and acting talent.

A week after enthralling audiences in Shepparton Theatre Arts Group’s sellout production of My Fair Lady, Shepparton’s Nicky Pummeroy is back driving tractors on her family chicken farm.

As Eliza Doolittle, the 37-year-old mother of three captivated people in the role of a woman who is transformed from a street flower seller to a glamorous lady.

Now, the big hair and glamorous gowns have gone and Nicky is again chasing chooks and kids.

‘‘You do come back to earth with a thud. The buzz is amazing for two weeks, but the performance season is only a small part. You get to know people so well during rehearsals, then you don’t see them again,’’ she said.

When she is not driving tractors, Nicky works part-time at Riverlinks Box Office in Eastbank.

Two days after the curtain fell on her final performance as Eliza, Nicky experienced a reality check when a box office customer began telling her how marvellous My Fair Lady was.

‘‘She finished by asking, ‘Did you see it?’,’’ Nicky said.

‘‘When I said I played Eliza, she looked at me strangely.’’

When Nicky delivered the Eliza cockney catcall of ‘‘Eeeoww’’, recognition dawned on the customer.

‘‘I think she was a bit embarrassed,’’ she said.

Nicky grew up in Euroa and has strong connections to the town.

Her mum and dad Chris and Dave Blackie still live there — and friends and family members packed a 50-seater bus to travel to Mooroopna’s WestSide Performing Arts Centre to see her in My Fair Lady.

Her singing career started early as a 10-year-old when she was pulled out of the Euroa Anglican Church choir to sing a solo verse of the carol Once in Royal David’s City during a Christmas concert.

‘‘I remember getting that buzzing feeling that I still get today,’’ she said.

She went on to perform at RSL meetings and senior citizen functions and won the lead part in her Year 9 Euroa High School musical Smithy.

‘‘I got the bug from there — I really enjoyed being different people,’’ she said.

She took singing lessons with teacher Anne Olsson at Shepparton’s Notre Dame College and scored the highest mark in her Guild Music exams two years in a row, which earned her a Euroa Australia Day Award.

After two years of sharpening her performance skills at Melbourne’s Swinburne University, she returned home to marry childhood sweetheart Glen Pummeroy.

With the arrival of her children Adam, 12, Jack, 11, and Emma, 9, Nicky took a break from the stage.

She returned in 2008 to join Euroa Little Theatre in Music Man and the cast of Shepparton Theatre Arts Group’s production of Oliver!

Since then she has wowed audiences with her voice in STAG productions Grease, Showstoppers and A Month of Sundays.

She has sung at more than 40 weddings during the past four years with her guitarist sister Lora.

She has also found a reliable acting partner in Shepparton’s ABC Radio host Matt Dowling.

‘‘We bounce off each other really well. He’s become a great mate,’’ she said.

Meanwhile, it is back to the chook shed, which does have its advantages during the lead-up to a show.

‘‘I learn the songs over and over again with an iPod in my ear. I sing all the time to the chooks,’’ she said.

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