Local man to play Ben Hur part

DON Cross says he doesn’t suffer from stage fright.

The 43-year-old Mungar resident, a renowned horseman, will have an epic way to test that in Sydney next week – there could be up to 80,000 people watching him.

Mr Cross has a role to play in the biggest theatrical event ever seen in Australia – Ben Hur – The Stadium Spectacular.

He’ll be one of the chariot drivers as the epic eleven-time Academy Award winning 1959 Hollywood movie that starred Charlton Heston comes to life at ANZ Stadium.

A $15 million stadium adaptation, crafted by renowned French director Robert Hossein, will transform ANZ Stadium into the biggest Roman amphitheatre ever seen.

The two-night only show, which is narrated by Russell Crowe features a live chariot race with 32 horses, just like the movie.

More than 300,000 people saw the show in Paris and huge crowds are expected in Sydney as it won’t be performed anywhere else in the world this year.

But how did Mr Cross get his chance to star in the show?

“Well, I’ve worked for the man (Mr Cross has performed at shows throughout the country in races featuring chuck wagons, stagecoaches and chariots), who is supplying the horses for the show for over 10 years, Don Ross, and he asked if I would be interested,” said Mr Cross, who had been practising with his four-horse team in Brisbane for six weeks before he headed to Sydney.

“He didn’t have to wait long for my reply I can tell you.

“Ben Hur has been one of my all-time favourite movies for years – I just love the chariot scene.

“Taking part in the chariot race will be a dream come true for me.

“I am sure these two shows will certainly be bigger than Ben Hur.”

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